Mother speaks out after toddler is thrown and killed, boyfriend arrested

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INDIANAPOLIS (April 2, 2014) — A man is charged with murder after police say he threw his girlfriend’s toddler into a playpen, which led to his death.

Sethe Sutliff, 21, is being held without bond at the Marion County Jail. He’s also charged with battery and neglect of a dependent.

According to a court documents, Sutliff was taking care of the his girlfriend’s 16-month-old son at their apartment on the 800 block of Hardin Boulevard.

Justine Collins, the toddler’s mother, got the frantic call hours later while at work.

“[He was] freaking out,” Collins said. “By the time I got there, EMS was already putting [my son] in the ambulance.”

Collins’ son, Lee, was rushed to the hospital. Doctors said the boy suffered “abusive head trauma,” with injuries to his nose and upper lip. Sutliff told authorities the baby had fallen a couple of times.

Justine chose to believe him at first.

“Nobody that has ever met him knows he would do anything remotely like this,” said Collins. “He has never once been abusive, not even verbally.”

Doctors said the injuries looked otherwise. Detectives found a “pack and play” with possible blood stains after obtaining a search warrant at the apartment.

It was only then when Sutliff confessed to throwing the child in it.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Sutliff told detectives.

He later called his mother and said, “I just got so frustrated and lost control. I didn’t mean to.”

“You don’t do that to babies. You don’t do that anybody,” said Collins. “That’s just heartless whether that was an accident or not.”

Lee passed away the following Sunday.The family was able to donate some of his organs.

Justine is trying to keep his memory close. She has a box filled with personal items — like a patch of prayer cloth from friends and Lee’s footprints and hand-prints made by hospital staff after he died.

Collins never wants to see Sutliff again.

“I definitely want justice. I hope he rots,” she said.

Sutliff is expected to be in court Thursday morning.