GREEN BAY - A Green Bay man has been charged in connection with the death of a toddler.
Police say around 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, two-year-old Alex Fountain was taken to the emergency room at St. Vincent Hospital because he had stopped breathing.
"Alex was revived by hospital staff, but subsequently died at approximately 10:22 pm," said Lt. Kevin Warych with the Green Bay Police Department.
Police say the mother's boyfriend, Nicholas D. Willies, was babysitting while she was at work. The Brown Co. Medical Examiner's Office was called in and staff members found suspicious bruises and scrapes on the child's body. After an autopsy, Alex Fountain's death was ruled a homicide.
Police investigated the scene at the Pine St. address where Willies, 29, was taking care of the boy. After investigation and witness interviews, police arrested Willies on March 25. However, Willies wasn't in police custody long.
"Willies was released from custody so the Green Bay Police Department could continue its investigation in the case and further medical opinions and records could be sought," said Warych.
Police contacted Mary Case, a forensic pathologist from St. Louis, to review the case. After receiving Case's report, police put out a warrant for Willies' arrest on Wednesday. The next day, he turned himself in.
Case told authorities she believed the child died from blunt abdominal trauma and closed head trauma. She believes a head injury was the main factor in the death.
According to the criminal complaint, a relative of Willies told authorities he saw Willies punch the child in the stomach "a bunch of times." The witness also said the child's mother was there "a lot of the time for this and would just kind of tell them it was ok."
Green Bay police would not say whether the child's mother would face charges in the case.
The child's mother told authorities the injuries her child suffered were from falling out of his crib and from playing with toys.
Willies has been charged with five counts, including first-degree reckless homicide, neglecting a child with the consequence of death and child abuse – recklessly causing harm.
A Brown County judge set Willies bond at $100,000 cash. He is due back in court May 17th.
FOX 11's Ben Krumholz is following this story and will have a full report tonight on FOX 11 News at Nine.
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