Babysitter Allegedly Abused Fla. Boy, 3, for Weeks Before Child Was Found Dead by Mom in Bathtub

Jameson Nance was found dead on June 11

Jameson Nance
Photo: West Melbourne Police Department

A Florida toddler is dead, and authorities allege his 25-year-old babysitter abused him for weeks before he died.

According to a police report obtained by WKMG-TV, 3-year-old Jameson Nance died on June 11 while in the care of his babysitter, Joshua Manns. Manns called Jameson's mother to say that her son had drowned in the bathtub. Police say that when the mom returned to her home in West Melbourne, Fla., she found her son dead in the tub — and Manns was nowhere to be seen.

Authorities allege that Manns had never called for medical assistance.

Manns allegedly left a note at the scene, saying that Jameson's death was an accident. According to WKMG, police said Manns wrote that "no one would believe him and he did not want to spend his life in prison for something he did not do."

Joshua Andrew Manns
West Melbourne Police Department

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According to documents obtained by WESH-TV, an autopsy showed no signs of drowning, but instead there were signs of battered child syndrome. The autopsy allegedly revealed that the boy suffered from multiple injuries, including a fractured rib, a chipped tooth, brain swelling and stab wounds to the head.

Detectives soon learned that Jameson has had two broken legs: one in March and one about two years ago. Last month, the Department of Children and Family Services went to Jameson's day care to investigate "suspicious" injuries, including a burn on his arm. Days later, Jameson was found dead.

Police quickly named Manns a person of interest, but he had apparently left the area. He was arrested in Tift County, Ga., on June 21. Authorities believe he was heading to West Virginia, where his family lived.

PEOPLE confirms that Manns has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect with great bodily harm. He is being held without bond and has not yet entered a plea. It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney to comment on his behalf.

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