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Central Florida Mother Charged with Murder in Death of 4-Year-Old Son

A 36-year-old Central Florida mother has been charged with murder in the death of her 4-year-old son.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Homicide detectives have arrested and charged Patricia Saintizaire of Davenport with first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and tampering with a witness, in the death of her four-year-old son whom she adopted from Haiti. The child was brought to the U.S. and adopted by Patricia in April 2023.

According to local law enforcement, a timeline of events is as follows:

On Thursday, May 2, 2024, PCSO was notified by staff at Orlando Health hospital that a four-year-old child had died under what appeared to be suspicious circumstances. The child’s body had been taken to the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. The medical exam at the hospital revealed an abdominal bleed that emergency surgery could not rectify.

On May 3rd, the autopsy was conducted. The autopsy showed the following:

  • The victim had scarring on his back, with old scarring present, as well as fresh scars that would’ve occurred while the victim was living in the United States (from April 2023 – May 2024).
  • The victim’s liver had a deep laceration on it that was caused by a targeted blunt force trauma injury.
  • The liver laceration would have caused a rapid decline in the victim’s health; the liver injury would have had effects immediately.
  • The victim had no broken or fractured bones but he had bruising/hemorrhage to his arms and legs.
  • These injuries are consistent with ongoing abuse.

The child’s cause of death was ruled Assault/Blunt Force Trauma and the manner of death was ruled a Homicide.

Homicide detectives learned that the child was first brought to Heart of Florida hospital in Davenport by Patricia, but due to his significant injuries he was flown to Orlando Health. Patricia repeatedly denied to detectives that she ever used physical discipline as punishment. Her husband told detectives that he does not discipline the children, but that she does.

During initial interviews with the child’s older teenaged brother, he denied being abused or witnessing abuse. However, after placing that child into DCF custody, he then told detectives that Patricia told him “when they ask you something, say nothing so I don’t get in trouble,” and that she threatened to kill him with a gun. He then told detectives the following:

During their time together living in Haiti, the boys would be physically disciplined by receiving multiple strikes with a belt and a homemade hitting device; when the victim came home from school on Wednesday, May 1st, he was happy and behaving normally, with no injuries. This was confirmed upon a review of school cameras, bus cameras, and interviews with those who interacted with him that day.

When the victim got home from school, the older brother went to another room for approximately two hours, and did not see or hear what happened to the victim. Patricia then told the brother to bring food to the victim. At that time, he noted that the victim was unable to walk on his own, and struggled to sit up on his own. Patricia told the older brother that the victim was “faking it” and to feed him. The victim then became unresponsive. The older brother began performing CPR on the child and then told Patricia they needed to take him to the hospital.

During a forensic review of Patricia’s phone, detectives found two videos from home surveillance cameras that show Patricia actively hitting the child with an unknown object while the child is laying on a floor, unresponsive. Another video clip shows Patricia throwing the child into a pool while both of his hands are tied behind his back.

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