Florida Mom Watched as Son Tried to Smother Infant
TITUSVILLE, Fla. - A single mother who "thought her life would be easier" is accused by police of watching and doing nothing as her 2-year-old tried to suffocate her 11-month-old son.
Christina McIntyre, 23, was charged Thursday afternoon with attempted felony murder, aggravated child abuse, child abuse and child neglect causing great bodily harm in the incident that occurred Oct. 6.
The infant recovered and both children have been turned over to the state Department of Children and Family Services. McIntyre is being held at the Brevard County Jail with no bond allowed.
Titusville police arrested McIntyre after she told detectives she watched as the infant struggled and fought for air but did nothing, because she wanted to go back to work and could not afford day care for both children.
"As a parent, it is unimaginable how anyone could have this motivation," said Lt. Todd Hutchinson of the Titusville Police Department. "It's extremely disturbing."
Hutchinson said it is unclear from the investigation whether McIntyre instructed her son to smother the baby, but that it is clear that she knew what was happening.
Police said the 2-year-old covered the 11-month old with several blankets and a beanbag chair and leaned against the chair until the infant stopped breathing. McIntyre told investigators she waited about a minute after the infant stopped moving before she pulled the 2-year-old off him. She spanked and scolded the 2-year-old for smothering his brother. Then after text-messaging her boyfriend, McIntyre called 911.
The infant was transported to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. Police were alerted to possible abuse after McIntyre gave conflicting statements about what had happened to various doctors.
She continued to push doctors for additional tests to find the reason for the Oct. 6 incident. After the 11-month old was placed on apnea monitors and had EEG tests, CT scans, chest X-rays, EEG tests, a barium swallow test and was placed on three medications it was determined he did not have the apnea his mother was reporting.
On Oct. 15 the Department of Children and Families reported the possible abuse to Titusville police. Police investigated the incident and during an interview Oct. 21 McIntyre admitted fabricating the incidents. The infant's medical records revealed the 11-month-old had four doctor appointments and three hospitalizations since Sept. 21.
McIntyre had no comment as she was escorted from the Titusville police station in handcuffs Thursday afternoon, but in the patrol car she muttered, "I love them."