Mom says, "She threw my son into the wall and shook him up pretty bad, and they said that's just a bit of what she did to him."
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of child abuse that some readers may find distressing.
A 23-month-old baby, Kyrie was allegedly abused by his babysitter, Kimora Launmei Hodges on the night of June 13, 2022, while his mother Taylor Starks was at work, PEOPLE reported. Succumbing to his injuries, the child passed away on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Hodges has now been charged with felony murder but hasn’t made her plea yet. She is said to appear in front of the court on June 29, 2022.
A 1-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten by his babysitter last week, has died, FOX 2 has learned. https://t.co/mdTPVJu8cN— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) June 22, 2022
The 18-year-old mother had trusted Hodges to take care of Kyrie for the past month or two. The 21-year-old babysitter allegedly physically abused the child and while this incident took place at around 10 pm, the mother wasn’t notified until 1:51 am the next day.
The babysitter then sent a picture of the child with his face swollen and bruised and asked if he ever slept like that. Starks rushed in concern to her child at around 2:05 am. "Once I made it there, my baby was on the ground having seizure, after seizure, after seizure," she told Click on Detroit.
Hodges had told the mother that Kyrie was having an allergic reaction after eating soap, which she believed until the doctors told her otherwise at the Ascension St. John Hospital, Fox 2 reported. “He had blunt force trauma to the head and he was bleeding out his ears and had to have immediate brain surgery,” Starks said. “All I know is she threw my son into the wall and shook him up pretty bad and they said that's just a bit of what she did to him.”
The accused was originally charged with child abuse charges, however, the police did express that it was open to change. Roseville Police Chief Ryan Monroe said, “The babysitter was arrested and charged for 1st-degree child abuse but obviously those charges could change if the child ends up passing.” Roseville police are now working with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office on more charges against Hodges, who admitted to what she did. "She's been very cooperative and very regretful, remorseful for her actions," he said. "But it obviously doesn't take it back." The charges have now been bumped up to felony murder according to an official at the Macomb County's 39th District Court. The accused had priors in domestic violence and is being held in the Macomb County Jail without bond.
Starks took to Instagram to share a tribute for her son saying, “I'm hurting so bad because you know you were my everything!! I had you at 16 by myself and we been doing this together ever since. We were growing up together. No matter how bad we struggled or was going thru, you never judged me.” She continued, “I promise to get justice for you Kyrie and I promise to make all of this mean something and worth the pain you endured.” She writes how this was one of her worst fears coming true.
In a similar case, as we had previously reported, a day-care worker had shaken the seven-week-old baby after they wouldn't stop crying due to an injury. The child had also succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. This incident took place on May 17, 2022, and the child passed away the next day. The accused, Taylor Burris is now being held in Macon County Jail and is set to return to court on July 15, 2022.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Taylor Starks for Kyrie’s funeral expenses.
If you know of any children who are being subjected to abuse, please contact The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 422-4453.