A Florida mother has been accused of "torturing" her son after she refused to get him medical attention for three days after he suffered a fatal abdominal injury, according to reports.
Victoria Toth, 24, of Orlando, was arrested on Friday and charged with aggravated manslaughter, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
In July, 2-year-old Jayce Martin suffered an injury to his midsection that caused his intestines to burst, which led to an infection that killed him, police said. If he would have been treated right away, authorities said, he probably would have recovered. An autopsy showed the injury—blunt force trauma—was likely caused by a closed fist, or by someone stomping on the boy.
Toth told police that on July 15, she left her boyfriend Jonathan Pursglove in charge of her son, while she was at work. She said she came home and noticed Jayce was acting weird, had low energy and didn't feel like playing.
Still, she didn't take him to the hospital for the next two days, police said, despite her family pleading with her to do so.
“Over a period of two to three days, [Toth] continued to watch Jayce suffer and by doing so, tortured him, in that he was unable to walk or eat and excessively vomited,” a police report viewed by the Sentinel said. “Yet again, [Toth] still failed to seek medical attention explaining she did not want medical personnel to judge her and because [Pursglove] told her not to.”
After three days, Toth woke up to find that Jayce was unresponsive, WFTV in Orlando reports. Panicked, she finally called 911 around 6:30 a.m. on July 18.
“I need an ambulance like right now,” she told dispatchers, according to the Sentinel. “My son has been dehydrating, he’s throwing up.”
Emergency workers found Jayce on his back covered by a towel. He looked sick and unhealthy; covered with bruises all over his body, there was also vomit and bile all around him, the report said.
In addition to finding a potted marijuana plant that seemed as if it was being kept in the toddler's room, police said they discovered what appeared to be punched-out holes in the wall of another bedroom, causing authorities to infer that there may have been a fight of some kind.
Friends of the couple said Pursglove was harsh in his discipline of the child. When Toth would try to step in, Pursglove would turn violent toward her, the report said.
Another friend told police that Pursglove “takes his anger out on the world."
Toth tried to explain the boy's bruises to police by calling her son a "brat" who was punished daily due to his behavior. One of the bruises, she said, according to the report, might have come from a playground incident, while another may have resulted from her shutting the door on her son's head, she told police.
Toth claimed the holes in the bedroom, meanwhile, were a product of Pursglove's angry outbursts.
Police declined to comment on whether Pursglove is facing charges, the Sentinel reports.
Steven Toth, Victoria Toth's father, said he doesn't get why Pursglove hasn't been charged.
“He clearly played a role in this,” he told the newspaper.
James Toth, believed to be a relative of Victoria's, refused to offer comment when contacted by Oxygen.com on Thursday, claiming that he had no additional information about the situation.
Steven Toth added that his grandson's death has broken his daughter. He said he got her a lawyer.
“Not only did she lose the best thing that ever came into her life, she’s sitting behind bars charged with his death,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt she would never do anything to hurt that boy.”
Victoria Toth is being held at the Orange County Jail on a $50,000 bond, according to prison records.
[Photo: Orange County Jail]
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