A 17-year-old Lockport teen alleged to have shaken and killed his girlfriend’s 2-month-old daughter has been charged with first-degree murder, Will County officials said Thursday.
Jon Karlson, of the 1100 block of South Hamilton Street, is expected to appear in Will County court Friday, officials said. His bond was set Thursday on an arrest warrant at $2 million. He has been in custody since he was initially charged with aggravated battery to a child Dec. 7, one day after the child was injured.
Following the girl’s death Wednesday and an autopsy conducted Thursday, the Will County sheriff and state’s attorney’s offices reviewed the case and upgraded the charge to first-degree murder, officials said.
Aaliyah Gedminas, of the 15500 block of South Gougar Road in Homer Glen, was pronounced dead at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago at 7:53 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The autopsy ruled the child’s death a homicide caused by abusive closed head injuries.
Karlson, who is not the child’s father, was babysitting for the 18-year-old mother Dec. 6, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer. The two have been dating for four months.
While the mother was at work, Karlson called to say the child wasn’t well. When the mother arrived home about 10 minutes later, she found the baby appearing “pale and lifeless,” Hoffmeyer said.
The two began driving the child to the hospital but stopped and called 911 when she stopped breathing. Paramedics arrived and transferred the baby to the Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox where medical staff said there were signs of abuse, according to the sheriff’s office.
“The medical staff at Silver Cross said bruising was present and that there was bleeding in the head,” Hoffmeyer said.
Aaliyah was later transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The girl’s mother and Karlson are being investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for allegations of abuse against the child, said David Clarkin, a DCFS spokesman. He added that investigations typically take about 60 days to complete.
The investigation was spurred by a call received on a DCFS hotline just after midnight on Dec. 7, Clarkin said. The agency has not had previous contact with the family. Officials are not aware of any other children in the home.
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