Mayor de Blasio pledged a "full investigation" Monday into the death of a toddler who died while in the apartment of a licensed child care giver in the Bronx over the weekend.
Athena Skeeter, a 40-year-old child care professional licensed by the state, was charged with manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in the Saturday death of Cardel Williamson, who suffered blunt force trauma to the head and torso, authorities said.
De Blasio said his understanding was that Skeeter's child care center had both state and city oversight, "so we want to get to the bottom of what happened."
According to court papers, Skeeter, allegedly told police that she wrestled with the 20-month-old boy, flipped him onto a bed, then lifted him by an arm and leg and threw him onto the floor.
Skeeter allegedly said she stepped on the boy's stomach three times, not using full force, and then he began acting differently, according to the court papers.
The boy threw up, then Skeeter allegedly said she put him in the bathtub and put cold water on his face before leaving the room. When she returned, she found him slumped over with his head in steaming water with burns on his arm and face, the court papers said.
Police responded to the day care Friday afternoon and discovered the toddler lying on a bed, struggling to breathe according to the NYPD. The officers performed CPR and brought the boy to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, but he was dead by the time they arrived, police said.
The medical examiner ruled the child's death a homicide.
The child's father said he did not know what to make of his child's death.
"This is devastating," said Carlyle Williamson, Cardel's father. "I'm speechless, really. I don't know what to think, what to do."
Skeeter was arraigned Sunday and remanded. Information on an attorney for her wasn't immediately available. She is due back in court later this week.
Neighbors said they were shocked by Skeeter's alleged admission. They set up a memorial for young Cardel outside the home he lived in with his father.