Mikel Fetterman died at a Pennsylvania hospital one month after he was found not breathing

By Harriet Sokmensuer
May 15, 2020 07:04 PM
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Mikel Fetterman
Credit: GoFundMe

A 3-year-old boy is dead after he was allegedly abused by his mother's boyfriend.

On March 26, 3-year-old Mikel Fetterman was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for “life saving measures” after police responded to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive child, WXPI reports.

According to police, Mikel lived with his mother, Teresa Fetterman, and her boyfriend, 31-year-old Keith Lilly Jr., in their New Kensington home. Fetterman allegedly told police Mikel was asleep and had left her son in Lilly's care when the boy stopped breathing. Lilly allegedly told police Mikel had fallen off of the couch and was given Tylenol before he found him unresponsive.

But doctors said the boy showed signs of both longterm physical abuse and suspected sexual abuse. Authorities said Mikel's body was covered in bruises, new and old, and he had suffered from a skull fracture as well as brain bleeding, KDKA reports.

On April 24, a month after being taken to the hospital, Mikel succumbed to his injuries, his family announced on a GoFundMe page.

"It has been a long hard few weeks," his grandfather, Michael Martin Fetterman, wrote on May 4. "We will love him always and forever."

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An autopsy revealed Mikel died of blunt force trauma to the head, WTAE reports.

Lilly has been charged with homicide while Fetterman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

In April, neighbors told WXPI things seemed problematic at the family's home in the days leading up to Mikel's hospitalization.

“A week before this happened we seen he had two black eyes, and then that’s when my sister called Children Youth Services and nothing was done," Shannell Felton, a neighbor, said.

Police say CYS is conducting its own investigation into Mikel's death. Meanwhile, his family's GoFundMe has raised nearly half of its $10,000 goal.

In addition to homicide, Lilly faces two counts of aggravated assault, one count of endangering the welfare of children and one count of recklessly endangering another person.

Both he and Fetterman remain behind bars in Westmoreland County Jail, according to online records. It is unclear whether either has retained an attorney, or if Lilly or Fetterman have entered a plea.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.