Passer-by tried to save boy; suspect said child fell

(Updated with full story) A 3-year-old boy is dead and his mother's boyfriend is behind bars on a murder charge.
Emil Whitis
Aug 1, 2012

(Updated with full story) A 3-year-old boy is dead and his mother’s boyfriend is behind bars on a murder charge. 

When Owen Barker’s mother went to work at about 6 p.m. Monday, she left the toddler in the care of her boyfriend, Michael Milner, 24, at their Fulton Street apartment, Sandusky police said.    

Less than two hours later, Owen was dead.   

Milner is also charged with felonious assault and child endangering. He was the only person in the apartment when the toddler sustained fatal blows to the torso, Sandusky police Lt. John Orzech said.

Milner called 911 at about 7:30 p.m.  

“A baby fell and hit his head and he’s not moving,” Milner is heard telling a dispatcher in the recorded 911 call. “He was playing and he tripped on a freaking truck.”

“He’s not breathing.”  

Glenn Fredericks, 30, said he had just stopped by his friend’s Fulton Street home at about 7:30 p.m. when he saw a man running back and forth in a driveway in the 500 block of Fulton St., carrying a boy’s limp body in his arms.

Fredericks is listed as a witness in the police report on Owen’s death.

“I saw him run past with a limp child in his arms like he was going to the hospital, then for some reason he changed his mind and ran back,” Fredericks told the Register. “The kid was purple and had a big lump on his head. (Milner) said he thought the baby was dead.” 

Milner ran back inside the apartment and placed Owen’s lifeless body on the couch, then started to fumble with a cell phone, said Fredericks, who had followed Milner into the apartment. 

“He asked me what he should do,” Fredericks said. “I told him to call 911.” (CALL POSTED ABOVE)

With help still minutes away, and not knowing what else to do, Fredericks said he tried to resuscitate the child.

“I had to do something,” he said. “At first it sounded like gargling, then he took a couple breaths, so I did it again and there were a couple more breaths. And that was it.”

At that point, paramedics showed up and took over.

“I got that image of the kid just laying there burned in my head,” Fredericks said. “It’s kind of driving me nuts.”

Fredericks said he couldn’t sleep Monday night.

“I did what I could, I did what I could,” Fredericks said. “If it were my kid, I would have called 911 right away. I don’t understand.”

Paramedics rushed Owen to Firelands Regional Medical Center, where the toddler died just minutes after arrival.

Later, in an interview room at the police station, Milner stuck to the same story he told dispatchers: Owen tripped and hit his head on a toy truck, Orzech said.

Milner is not Owen’s father.

The child’s body was sent to the Lucas County coroner for an autopsy, the preliminary results of which came in Tuesday morning.

“Internal injuries caused the child’s death,” Orzech said. “It was not at all consistent with (Milner’s) story.”

Owen also sustained visible injuries to the head, neck and back, police stated in a release.

Detectives also found patches of suspected blood stains throughout the apartment, not just in the spot Milner said the toddler had fallen.

“There was suspected blood found in different rooms inside the apartment, on different items inside the apartment,” Orzech said.

Police arrested Milner shortly after the interview. He was booked into the Erie County jail at about 12:20 a.m. Tuesday, according to jail records.   

A couple living near the Fulton Street apartment, asking not to be named, said Milner had previously told them he was the target of an investigation by children’s services workers in summer 2011.

Milner told the couple he had bruised Owen’s buttocks after spanking him when he caught the toddler wandering out onto a roof.

Orzech confirmed there was an investigation into that incident, and he also confirmed investigators found bruises on the boy’s buttocks.

Orzech said he doesn’t know what came of that inquiry, and he deferred to children’s services investigator AJ Lill, who did not return a reporter’s phone message Tuesday afternoon.

The couple said there was another incident about two months ago that also made them question the toddler’s safety.

In that incident, sometime in May, Milner and the couple got into a brief confrontation.     

The man said he told Milner to grow up, and pointed out that he had a child to take care of. According to the man, Milner responded: “That’s not my kid.”

Orzech, meanwhile, pleaded with the community to alert police to any incidents involving suspected child abuse. 

“We’ve got a young innocent life here that couldn’t protect itself,” Orzech said. “If people suspect or hear of any child abuse ... pick up the phone and call. We don’t mind checking.”

Residents can remain anonymous when calling Sandusky police at 419-627-5863 or Erie County Children Services at 419-626-6781. 

Milner is being held in the Erie County jail without bond.

Sandusky Municipal Court records show he has been charged with nearly 20 criminal offenses in the past four years, the bulk of them involving alcohol or drug abuse.   

On his Facebook page, Milner recently posted this statement: “I wish my girl friend would really understand how much I love her and her 3 well soon to be 3 in two days year old son with all my heart no matter what comes threw my path their the only one I think about all I do is want them both to have the greatest life I can provide for them without them I wouldnt be the man I am today they helped me get out of some bad times and I thank them for that.”

On her Facebook page, Danielle Flannery, 22 — Owen’s mother — previously posted this in her profile: “i love my son more than anything in the world.”

 

For a follow up story on this incident with information on the previous child abuse report, pick up a copy of Thursday's Register.

Comments

kendallthegirl

 Oh you mean lynching? Gee I wonder why they don't do that anymore...

wiredmama222

What a beautiful child....May God hold you in the palm of your hand for now through all Eternity. 

mymy

This guy is a piece of crap if that were my child he would have never even got a chance to get arrested I be in prison

Katelih-Trailer...

 mymy...If it was your kid..he wouldn't have been left with such a person, I'm sure...

lifetimeresident

Very Sad

Louie

Re mymy i couldnt agree more If that were my kid he wouldnt even get a chance for jail

grannie G

Danielle,HOW COULD YOU NOT HAVE KNOWN> Shame on humane services! You let Owen be KILLED.WHERE WERE YOU? You did not protect this child.You are as guilty as his mother

mymy

This is very true it just makes me sick the way ppl are with drugs and mostly pills now a days the worst part of all is that the police departments know who is selling them and chose to do nothing and when u ask why they say yea we know but it ain't wat we know it is wat we can prove and that is a line of crap I just wish someone would do more to address the way it is but no we just watch more and more kids pay becuz their parent are withdrawing becuz they can't get their fix

Seen it All

Orzech, meanwhile, pleaded with the community to alert police to any incidents involving suspected child abuse.

“We’ve got a young innocent life here that couldn’t protect itself,” Orzech said. “If people suspect or hear of any child abuse ... pick up the phone and call. We don’t mind checking.”

 

It would appear IT WAS REPORTED once, and nothing was done!  That is usually the case, NOTHING is done until the child is either hospitalized or worse!

This whole thing just sickens me!  A 2 yr old toddler should NOT have a bruised buttocks from a spanking..PERIOD!  Shame on the system, and shame on you mommy for putting this dear baby in harm's way.  You had a BIG, RED flag, and you ignored it.

And he died of blunt force trauma to the torso!!!  Was that from hitting him so hard he cracked his ribs and punctured his lungs?  It just makes me cry thinking about what this poor baby had to endure.  May God hold, comfort, and keep you baby Owen.

As for this 'thing" responsible for taking this boys life... I have complete faith that you will get a little of your own medicine in prison!

blueyedgrl1030

Hahahahhaa IF only SPD DID follow thru! Ive made calls bcuz Ive seen and heard abuse-it took SPD 15 mins or more to get there and by the time they did the parents had the kid scared stiff to tell the truth so SPD simply walked away and said "Sorry nothing we can do". I reminded SPD of the family schematics and ALL the calls they got for that family and asked well can u @ least notify Child services? Again I got told there was nothing they could do! So Detective Orzech ur a liar-may sound good that SPD is all for "protecting the children of the community" but thats it-IT JUST SOUNDS GOOD for PR!!!! 

unbelievable..

This is so very sad. Poor little boy lost his life because some punk was probably having a bad day. I hope this guy gets what he deserves once he goes to prison. Im sure the mother had some idea that this guy was abusive, just maybe not to this extent. But now it's too late to do anything about it. Both women and men need to step up and be better parents and realize that once you have a child, they are your number one. Not anyone or anything else! May this little boy rest in peace.. His life was ended way too early and I hope the scum bag pays for taking that away. Prayers are with the family =/

mymy

This is very true it just makes me sick the way ppl are with drugs and mostly pills now a days the worst part of all is that the police departments know who is selling them and chose to do nothing and when u ask why they say yea we know but it ain't wat we know it is wat we can prove and that is a line of crap I just wish someone would do more to address the way it is but no we just watch more and more kids pay becuz their parent are withdrawing becuz they can't get their fix

Taxed Enough Already

I wish they would give me a few minutes in the same room with this guy.  I was a foster parent and things like this turn my stomach.

mymy

I feel my deapest sympothies go out the families and the father of this young boy my prayers are with you all that are involved and affected by this tragedy

real talk

 2 blocks from the ER at Firelands and he cant figure out what to do ???
He could have run there in 30 seconds

Taxed Enough Already

 

i gota beautiful girlfriend and an awesome kid they mean everything to me.. i like to relaxe and have a good time.een though sometimes i cant do it cuz i freak out

 

This is something Micheal posted under his basic information on Facebook...yeah I imagine he does "freak out".

 

seenocolor

First of all, thank you to Glenn Fredericks for trying to revive Owen. 

Now.  What I don't understand is why was he so confused?  A child is hurt, you either call 911 or take the child to the ER.

Maybe the weed that he had smoked fogged up his thinking.  Maybe he was trying to figure out what story to tell that would be believable. 

I don't know, I wasn't there.  I can say this for certain though, if this guy is found not guilty, he will need to stay in the county under protective custody. 

The Rudy

This story wants to make me cry and throw up. OMG how can someone do things like this? Those cute little chubby cheeks remind me of my kids, and now my grandchildren, how can you hurt them? Scum boy and mom got some 'splaining to do.

allrhetoricanyway

I have purposely not logged in for quite some time.....this one, well I have something to say! 

I have a 2 1/2 year old grandson that I provide care for while his parents are at work.  It is probably the best time I have ever spent in my life looking after a child, even though he is my blood. I have also helped with other young mohers and their children when needed and the one and only thing that I can NEVER understand is hurting one of these babies!  At the age of three they are so incredibly wonderful when they have learned an incredible amount in those few short years, but are able to have all the realiztion of whats going on, bad and good, right and wrong.  I am sooooo thoroughly pissed off that this "person" was EVER allowed to be put in responsibility and protection of this young soul.  Shame on that mother.....I don't CARE how many of you know her or her family...she is JUST as culpable as that useless piece of flesh that she left her son with.  It ENDS now child killers, abusers, molesters, batterers, WHATEVER form of abuse they have to put put needs to be put back on them 1000000000 fold!!!!!  I hope that someone treats him as HORRIBLE as he did that poor little baby~~Maybe some think that is UNGODLY or not right......bring him to my house.....I'll make sure he prays!!!!!

sandtown man

 this is the kinda thing folks should be strung up from the nearest tree for doing.this is a completely innocent child,what happend to hanging peope on the court house lawn on sundays after church,and the whole town standing around watching?in my opinion if we still did things like that the crime rate may drop a bit.most likely this sorry excuse of a human being was pissed off cause he couldnt get or do something he wanted and itook it out on the child.

febbo

 o

anoldfriend

I have known this man for 12 years he has never hurt or even tried to hurt a child. all of you can sit here and say oh id do this or id do this but truth is u cant say what you would do until you are faced with that problem. im sure he was in shock and just bc the register says something doesnt mean its 100% accurate.. nobody knows what really happened you would have to be there to know that. im not saying he is innocent

Louie

re anold friend well if he hadnt beat the child to death there wouldnt have been no need for him to call 911 .I cant believe u are defending this scum what kind of person would defend him what do you think happened the little boy beat his self to death.I also think the mother should be held accountable for leaving her child with him and child services should be held accountable too

unfound740

I do not know the boy or mother personally but i do know mike i never really liked him but im not here to judge him or what happened but i did make a video for the family RIP OWEN 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x...

 

 

 

 

Katelih-Trailer...

 unfound 740...You are thoughtful for making that video. Its nice to know that Owen had good times..and was loved . 

unfound740

 thank you for the comment 

so.....

re an old friend... he was in shock?????uh yeah probably because he knew he had  REALLY done it this time, no  getting out of this one. and i WOULDNT be in his situation because I DONT BEAT CHILDREN!!   you can try to twist this around to make it something it isnt but the fact remains... A PRECIOUS ,BEAUTIFUL BABY WAS BEAT TO DEATH BY A "GROWN " MAN!!  your "old friend". the register may not always hit the story right but that babys body will not lie. it will do what owen cant and thats tell the real story.

HaRley44

So the child had a gigantic lump on his head and bruises all over and blood in several areas of the apartment an a history of drug and alcohol problems...but above all a 3 year old is dead...and there's people DEFENDING him? There were two individuals at that apartment the dead child and this guy and the child has traumatic injury and bruises...at what point in this does your mind say he would never do that...something's obviously been done!!! Blood all over? Internal injuries? You have to admit something foul happened...that child did not trip over a truck and get those injuries..any of you that have kids knows they can take tumbles and trip over over toys  but rarely does a child trip and suffer such trauma...just saying reasonable doubt of his innocence is right there I believe out of respect for the family that loved this adorable little boy people shouldn't proclaim innocence when that child is dead without explanation but a whole lot of injuries You never know someone as well as you think when something like this happens...

Phil Packer

 Not members of MENSA, for sure.

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