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Dad Charged with Beating Infant Son to Death Because Boy Wouldn’t Stop Crying

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Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland

Police in Maryland have arrested the parents of an infant boy whose lifeless body was found earlier this week in a shallow grave behind a local high school, a month after his death, PEOPLE confirms.

Antoine Petty, 32, has been charged with two counts of murder while his 24-year-old wife, Geneice Petty, was charged with being an accessory after the fact. The couple lives in Greenbelt, Maryland, according to a statement from the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Investigators allege that their son, 3-month-old Antoine Flemons, was beaten to death on Sept. 21 when he wouldn’t stop crying.

The statement further alleges that Antoine Petty carried the infant out onto the balcony of the family’s apartment and started punching the baby in the chest in an attempt to silence him. When the baby kept screaming, his father allegedly brought him back inside and continued punching him.

Detectives claim the beating only stopped when the infant began bleeding from his mouth and nose, according to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE.

Not long after suffering the alleged abuse, Flemons fell silent. When his parents couldn’t get him to respond, they put his body in the back of their car for 24 hours, investigators allege.

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The child’s parents eventually drove their son’s body to the back of a high school and placed the remains in a shallow grave that remained covered for weeks, until Monday, authorities allege. 

That’s when relatives, concerned about Flemons’ well being, called police.

Those relatives told investigators it had been weeks since they’d seen the child, police said in their statement. The relatives also informed authorities that the boy’s parents, when asked about his whereabouts, would claim the child was with friends.

On Tuesday, police located both parents and, under questioning, Antoine Petty allegedly confessed to the fatal beating.

“Both [parents] then admitted that they buried the baby in an effort to conceal the crime,” the police statement reads. “The suspects lead detectives to a shallow grave in the Riverdale area where the baby was discovered dead.”

Antoine Petty is being held without the possibility of bail, and Geneice Petty is being held on a $120,000 bond. A bail hearing for the couple is scheduled for later Friday.

Information regarding both suspects’ attorneys was unavailable. Calls to the suspects’ relatives were not returned.