A 32-year-old man in Washington state has been arrested in the death of a 13-month-old boy he was babysitting late last year, allegedly beating the child to death. Eric Richard Boudreau was taken into custody last week and charged with one count of second-degree murder in the toddler’s death, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
“Today, after a lengthy and thorough investigation, and with the help of our Community Resource Unit and Patrol, our Detectives arrested the suspect in a homicide of a 13-month old from late last year,” the Lacey Police Department (LPD) wrote in a Wednesday Twitter post. The post was accompanied by a photograph of Boudreau being detained by police with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Lacey is located about 30 miles southwest of Tacoma.
According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by The Olympian, LPD officers and firefighters at approximately 1:44 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2022, responded to a 911 call at a residence located in the 9000 block of Campus Glen Drive Northeast regarding an injured child. The child had allegedly fallen down the stairs while his babysitter — later identified as Boudreau — had fallen asleep.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders made contact with the toddler and rushed him to Providence St. Peter Hospital. Authorities reportedly said that medics were able to get a heartbeat from the victim after completing 16 rounds of CPR.
Due to the severity of the victim’s injuries, he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was pronounced dead.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy and determined that the toddler’s manner of death was a homicide and the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, the Olympian reported.
Detectives assigned to the case reportedly interviewed the first responders and learned harrowing details about the victim’s condition.
Several paramedics who treated the toddler told police that his injuries were “not consistent with falling down the stairs,” the Olympian reported. One medic reportedly said there “wasn’t a square inch” on the baby’s body that was not visibly bruised. A second medic told investigators the child’s injuries were the worst they’d seen in 17 years on the job.
The victim’s mother reportedly told police that she lived in a house with Boudreau and another mother who had two of her own children. The mother said she left her son in the care of Boudreau because his day care was closed and she had to work. Both the victim’s mother and the other woman reportedly told police they did not believe Boudreau would harm their children.
The victim’s father, who lived downstairs from the mother, reportedly told police that earlier that morning he heard a frustrated Boudreau tell the crying toddler to “shut up,” saying it made him “uneasy,” but decided he had to go to work for fear he would be fired.
In an interview with investigators, Boudreau reportedly said that his band had played a show the previous night and he had drank several beers and smoked marijuana but believed he was okay to watch the toddler the following day. He allegedly said he fell asleep with the child, only to wake up and find the victim injured at the bottom of the stairs.
He then called the child’s mother and notified her about the fall, per the Olympian. The mother then called 911.
During a hearing on Friday, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Cailen Cecil successfully argued to have Boudreau held without bond due to the “extreme and numerous” injuries sustained by the victim, the Olympian reported.
Judge John Skinder reportedly reasoned that if released, Boudreau would present a danger to the public.
“The amount and level of force that would have been necessary, based upon the allegations, against a small child are such that I do have a concern of a substantial risk for the community,” Skinder reportedly explained.
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