Police arrested a Minnesota man last week in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son.
Chief Deputy Shane Richard of the Becker County Sheriff’s Office confirms the arrest of Sterling Andersen, a 23-year-old from Duluth, Minnesota, on two counts of second-degree murder. Police claim the accused admitted to investigators he began beating the toddler when the child refused to stop crying.
Richard tells PEOPLE that Andersen, who was apprehended on Oct. 7, is being held on $2 million bail and is scheduled to appear before a judge on Oct. 19. It is not know whether he’s entered a plea to the charges against him.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Andersen’s girlfriend asked him to watch her son, Steven, while she attended a meeting the morning of Oct. 7.
Andersen allegedly told investigators he’d taken the child for a walk in the woods at 10:30 a.m. that morning and that the toddler went running after a dog.
Court documents claim Andersen told police the boy looked back as he was running and tripped, falling into a log. Steven began to cry, so Andersen told police he took the child home and put him to bed.
When he went to check on the toddler ten minutes later, Andersen told detectives Steven was unresponsive. Court files indicate he carried the boy to a neighbor’s house and called 911.
Andersen allegedly told dispatchers the child had bumped his head, records show. Steven was transported to an area hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead after spending several hours trying to treat his injuries.
Medical personnel at the scene told police that the child’s injuries weren’t consistent with Andersen’s account. An autopsy later revealed the boy sustained extensive head and abdominal trauma. More than 26 bruises were discovered on the boy’s torso alone, and it is believed they occurred within hours of his death, according to court documents.
Andersen allegedly told police he started striking the child when he wouldn’t stop crying and admitted he had no idea how many times he may have hit the boy.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.