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Police: Woman ties up 4-year-old, sets him on fire and jumps out window

Investigators said some kind of oil or other accelerant had been poured on the boy, after which he had been set on fire in a bathtub


By Scott Berson
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

MILWAUKEE — When firefighters broke into a Milwaukee apartment to investigate a report of smoke, they immediately found the source — the charred, lifeless body of a 4-year-old child, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Nobody else was in the apartment.

Police charged Amelia DiStasio with the death of the boy. (Photo/Milwaukee County Jail)
Police charged Amelia DiStasio with the death of the boy. (Photo/Milwaukee County Jail)

In a criminal complaint obtained by Fox 6, police said the child had his hands tied behind his back with several belts. A garbage bag had been put over his head and cinched tightly around his neck.

Investigators said some kind of oil or other accelerant had been poured on the boy, after which he had been set on fire in a bathtub. He had burns to the majority of his body with “significant charring” on his skin.

The smoke detector had been removed and placed underwater, and a pet guinea pig had was found drowned in a cage next to the tub, according to Fox 6. A bottle of cooking oil was found on the bathroom sink.

Police later charged Amelia DiStasio with the death of the boy, her 4-year-old son Antonio DiStasio, who had autism.

A witness reported that they saw a “frazzled” woman jump from the window of the apartment on the day Antonio was found, the Journal Sentinel reported. Police found the mother walking later that day.

In her purse, they found a handwritten note with a phone number. When they called it, the man who answered said Amelia had asked him, crying, if he knew a pastor because she “did something really bad” and “never did nothing like that before.” He gave Amelia his phone number and told her his wife may have been able to help,

DiStasio was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, the Associated Press reported.

“It’s impossible to describe it. I got to hope that Antonio is in heaven and I got to pray that Amelia gets help if she needs help and I believe she does,” the child’s grandfather, Ralph DiStasio, told Fox 6. “He was just four,” he said. “I miss him a lot.”

The grandfather created a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for Antonio’s funeral, and told the Journal Sentinel that he intends to bury Antonio with some of his favorite toys — Grover and Ernie from Sesame Street and a toy truck.

Copyright 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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