A Milwaukee woman, Amelia DiStasio, has been arrested for having bound and burned her four-year-old son to death in a bathtub.
Police were called to the apartment on September 28 after witnesses reported smelling smoke. When firefighters arrived, they discovered that the fire alarm in the apartment had been disconnected and submerged underwater. A pet guinea pig was also discovered, drowned. DiStasio’s son, Antonio, was found in the bathtub where he had been bound with seven belts, had a plastic bag secured over his head, and had been set on fire.
In the apartment, officials found a cell phone on the kitchen table, which still contained internet search history. Searches like “how do canabals (sic) die” and “how to kill a canabal (sic)” were found on the phone in addition to a message board for an online game where players were supposed to fight cannibals. When asked how to rid of them, a message on the board suggested “killing it with fire.”
Witnesses report seeing a woman leave the apartment through her window before firefighters arrived on the scene. They later found DiStasio walking on W. Wisconsin Avenue. Upon finding her, police searched her purse and found a phone number and name on a piece of paper. When officials contacted the number, a man and his wife were on the other line who explained that they saw DiStasio earlier that morning, crying. She allegedly told them that she needed a pastor because she had “done something bad and never did nothing like that before.” The man informed her that his wife was Catholic so she may be able to help her, which is why he provided his phone number.
DiStasio was charged with first-degree murder and is currently on $400,000 bail. If convicted, she faces up to life in prison.
Her father, Ralph DiStasio, spoke with Fox News who told them that “she needs help. She doesn’t need jail.” Amelia had been diagnosed as bipolar and her son had been diagnosed with autism. “When his mother put him in timeout, he’d scream and that would last for two to five minutes and then he’d calm down and he’d go to timeout,” Ralph said. This had been the ultimate cause for Amelia moving several times in the span of a few months.
Witness reports claim that when Amelia moved in, she kept to herself and didn’t appear friendly. One witness account claims that on September 27, they heard Antonio pleading with his mother before she screamed at him to be quiet. On September 28, the day of the murder, they heard banging coming from the apartment.
Ralph has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the funeral costs. To date, the page has earned $3,707 of the allotted goal.
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