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

Cee Bee

 i must be dumb.. it also said suspect of blood.. which means all the injuries werent INTERNAL. and were also talkin about  FRMC the same hospital that told  me my ankle wasnt broken.. 2 weeks later im having on my not broken ankle.

im also not in denial you just dont know what i know.. once again were all so quick to judge somebody.(:

Cee Bee

 i must be dumb.. it also said suspect of blood.. which means all the injuries werent INTERNAL. and were also talkin about  FRMC the same hospital that told  me my ankle wasnt broken.. 2 weeks later im having on my not broken ankle.

im also not in denial you just dont know what i know.. once again were all so quick to judge somebody.(:

deertracker

@Cee Bee

You have to be in DENIAL. Snap out of it.  Do you think the kid did that to himself? 

Mommy25 is so right.  Children services is not the "protector" of children the way you think.  Educate yourselves please!

EastEndRez

You can tell from the dispatcher's voice that even she isn't buying the story.

ragtop66

   Is it the opinions of the CPA  director  OR the LAWS  that  tie their hands?   

  I don't  know for  sure. 

  When  I tried to report a welfare fraud & neglect   case a  few years (  in another county ) back,   they wanted the parties'  SS  numbers an and all kinds of stats.  that there was no way I could get that info.   I was an accuaintance from work.  The person was the type who bragged  at breaks  ( you know what I mean)  .  It's  alot of red tape and hoops. 

I don't  know  if that applies to child services in every county  BUT the LAWS have to get tougher first. 

ragtop66

Exactly , the dispatcher  was suspicious,  Mr. Fredericks  was suspicious   ( bless him  he had his hands full trying to revive the baby)   The EMS,  ER,    The police. 

And then you get tthe  moronic defenders  on here  spouting   the crap  "he would never do that'   &   "who are we to judge"   yada yada

Back in the old days   this  henious crime would warrant a swing from a tree ..no BS .. Legal tape.. NO BS  appeals,  no pleas.  NO wasting the taxpayers money on housing and food. 

Just a tree and a rope    before  a week was up.  

he said she said

Hello

For those of you that are coming on here stating the Micheal Milner would never do such a thing...think about this:

My ex husband beat my like I was a rabid dog.  For years, until I got up enough courage to leave.  Once I left and what had happened came out, everyone was saying not him.  Really?  He wouldn't do anything like that.

He was one way with the outside world. He was nice, funny, and would help anyone and everyone.

The inside world, he was this monster that would attack me for saying hello when he came in from work.

You think you all know Michael Milner.  So did everyone that knew my ex.  Milner has shown his true colors, he beat a 3 years old to death.  Everyone that thought my ex was the greatest are seeing his true colors now too.....

he said she said

Hello

For those of you that are coming on here stating the Micheal Milner would never do such a thing...think about this:

My ex husband beat my like I was a rabid dog.  For years, until I got up enough courage to leave.  Once I left and what had happened came out, everyone was saying not him.  Really?  He wouldn't do anything like that.

He was one way with the outside world. He was nice, funny, and would help anyone and everyone.

The inside world, he was this monster that would attack me for saying hello when he came in from work.

You think you all know Michael Milner.  So did everyone that knew my ex.  Milner has shown his true colors, he beat a 3 years old to death.  Everyone that thought my ex was the greatest are seeing his true colors now too.....

perfectly_flawed

Men who 'shack up' with single mothers are not always the 'bad guy'. There are many, many good men out there who provide a father figure for children whose biological fathers have dropped the ball or walked away from his responsibilities. The sack of crap in this article isn't a 'man', anyway. Sometimes 'shacking up' is a very viable option for many people and can help the financial situation as well as get a single parent off of government assisance. Kudos to those men who 'shack up' with single mothers and step up to be a positive role model for children. There are many of them out there!!!

perfectly_flawed

Men who 'shack up' with single mothers are not always the 'bad guy'. There are many, many good men out there who provide a father figure for children whose biological fathers have dropped the ball or walked away from his responsibilities. The sack of crap in this article isn't a 'man', anyway. Sometimes 'shacking up' is a very viable option for many people and can help the financial situation as well as get a single parent off of government assisance. Kudos to those men who 'shack up' with single mothers and step up to be a positive role model for children. There are many of them out there!!!

starryeyes83

cee bee...  OMG !!   Your buddy is disgusting  

 Read todays hard copy of SR  they LIST some of the injuries, how do YOU explain  internal cuts  to his liver, intestines and penis  HUH??     That's just some of the injuries.

 so then  are you  saying the mom did  it ?     Or a friend who was smoking dope with your buddy? 

   Blood and internal injuries  from a  ""trip and fall on a little toy truck"  your buddies story- remember...  His criminal  record includes violence.    You don't know unless you were there.

Were you?

this is me

First, this "man" should never again see the light of day.  Just the injuries alone on this child scream murder.  Second, the mother should hold some rsponsibility for her son's death.  But I think that the guilt from knowing and now living without him should hold enough pain for her punishment. 

But there's something that I'm learning from these posts.  If I am a single mother, I should live by myself and never get involved with or love a man again because that man will always beat or hate on my child. But my child should have a two parent home or they will grow up dysfunctional. And no matter how hard it gets, I should never get assistance because that is living off other people.  But I can't have a job because that would leave my child alone in the hands of someone else and I can trust no one to look after my child. I came out of a loving relationship, but my husband died.  No dead beat dad. But not enough life insurance either. So... Since it seems that all here have such wealth of knowledge...how do I survive without breaking your rules?

getaclue

 Fulton Street, now is the time to shout about what you know!  DON'T LET THE MURDER OF A CHILD BECOME A PLEA DEAL DUE TO LACK OF EVIDENCE.  

seenocolor

If this SOB gets a plea deal for murdering this baby then anyone that  takes this scum out, in prison or after he gets out, should get a plea bargain too.

As a community, we should stand strong and if he does get a plea deal make it known that we are not going to stand by and let people like this injure our kids and get away with it!!

Hell put him downtown and let the community take care of him.....

 

Morningbreezes1

 @ ragtop 66... I know exactly what you mean. Years ago, I did daycare for the county.After several attempts to talk to the parent about her kids... I called and reported the parent for neglect. The county decides to call the parent and make an " appointment" for a week later. Go figure

bobaluey

@ this is me  

okay you want  to hypothesize

 FIrst using common sense:  If you had a baby   would you Move in / live with a guy you just met?  Many of these  girls do.

  I'm sure you read about the Norwalk baby last week...( 9 month old,  baby momma moved a NEW  guy with her  shortly after birth - resulting in  NINE  broken bones in less than a  four month  time frame.  Is that  LOVE?  NOT in  MY book.

Would you allow drug users around your baby?    Keep in mind most of  ( NOT ALL)  these guys are  living off the girls.  Yes, there are always exceptions.  BUT the odds are against you. 

Would you bring a  guy around  YOUR baby without first having some kind of background check done.  Many crinminal  records are online and you can do them yourself without a fee.   Start with local courts.

Public assistance is another thing... we all know people who   have  people move in and out and they  seem to  " forget"  to report household changes.  That's  called working the system.

 as far as rules go    Well,  the statistics  are out there when it comes to    abuse by a boyfriend.  It's like an everyday news story now.  Their mug shots apppear in the media daily.   And yeah, it's some females as well.

So as far as rules go .    You're  on  your own... but ,  would you rather have an abused or dead baby?

 

sandtown born a...

This sickens me that poor baby, I have known Mikey since birth and he has always had serious anger issues. He was very abusive towards his twin as well as a older sibling. You would think someone would have tried to get him help long ago with his anger issues this could have been prevented.  His parents if thats what you want to call them were occupied with other things dealing cocaine, weed and who knows what else around these kids When they were together. Not role models at all. His father has a extensive criminal record including violence as well as drugs. that apple didnt fall far did it. Mikey was always talked about as the bad twin and they thought it was funny. there are alot of people that should be feeling very guilty over this tragedy, you always hear (we would have never thought he would do that) but then look at his history is it really a surprise his temper finally seriously hurt someone? not to me it isnt.

Owen RIP

44846GWP

Inocent until proven guilty, then lock up this waste of skin and throw away the key!

44846GWP

Mother of the year too, I'm sure.

M0mmyTiff

@ Mommy25

I know where you are coming from when you say to report an abuse going on in a home to Children Services. I have tried to do this MANY times with my husband's 3 girls that are in foster care. And what has happened?!?! NOTHING. They told me to call & have the people who have SEEN OR HEARD it happening call or they can't do anything. Bunch of bull crap if you ask me!!

 

REST IN PEACE BABY OWEN <3

k.a.g

 for those of you attacking the mother.

what makes you all so perfect. losing her child wasnt enough now your going to slander her name. commenting on a story doest make you right. its makes you ignorant.

that mother of a year. works her hard. ad dedicates herself to taking care of the that boy. and how dare you questiong her because she trusted the wrong person. you cant forsee everything and you cant judge a book by its cover. you dont think she isnt hurting as it is. she dosent deserve this. and what gave any of you the right to be the ones to pass judgement. leave her alone. shes in shock and im sure you all are. now whydont we actually see something shocking. and mabye instead of being o so mighty and talking crap on a paper. 

why not show some support for the family and for owen. they deserve your respect and prayers. not a public flogging.

starryeyes83

 kag,

   Because   SHE  just  had to retain a lawyer.   

ItsMsMelissaK2U

OK SO i just went to the mothers facebook.... look at the photos of little Owen.... you can tell by his facial expressions he is not a happy lil boy... and look at the bruises on his face... one on the forehead... one on the cheek..............really

 

DSS NEEDS TO START DOIN WHAT TAXPAYERS PAY THEM TO DO!!!!!!!!  Protect the Children... not sit at their desk drink coffee and talk about the one sitting down the hall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

GrandmatoS.E

My prayers go to the family of this small Angel. He is resting in the arms of our God and will forever be safe. My thoughts are to the mother of this little boy. I am truly sorry for the lss of your son and my prayers are with you. Your life will now and forever be changed but if any good shall come of your loss you should teach other young mothers of the risks they take when trusting someone who has such a terrible past to care for those we in trust them with. This little boy was no match for the type of temper your boy friend apparently had. I will also send up a prayer for him that thru this horrible act he will find God and trust in God to mend the terriable wrongs of his past and save his soul. No one can change what took place that day but with God we could change the outcome for the next toddler we find who needs our help by helping the mothers of those toddlers. We as parents need to step up and take our families back to church and raise our children to know right from wrong. We as a society is just as to blame for letting our children grow up and never know that there is a God we will answer to someday. The man that took this child's life will face his God and my prayer to him is that he asks forgiveness from him before his life comes to an end.

illuminoctis

excerpt:  “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.” 

Re:  When I was somewhere between age 5 and 7 (I forget now), I had a similar incident.  I was playing outside of a daycare center, where my father was repairing a refridgerator or something, and I was driving around inside of a big toy truck.  I parked it near the steps of the daycare's back door.  I had climbed almost all of the way out, but my right sock had snagged on something and I lost my balance and fell. 

My forehead struck the corner of the stone steps and, while I don't recall feeling anything, I do recall walking towards my father and very stunned as I was watching blood gush from somewhere above my eyes.  It seemed to be gushing like a garden hose on medium. 

I looked ahead and saw my father and mother rushing towards me.  As my mother was trying to apply pressure to stop the bleeding, I saw my father turn around and shake his fists at the sky and yell "NOoo!" 

They picked me up to carry me somewhere.  The car, I think.  I wouldn't know because I passed out.  Somehow, I got away without even a concussion and merely needed some stitches.  At the ER, tho.. my mother was asked if she was OK and if she needed to have a seat somewhere.  She said she was fine and wanted to stay with me.  Then she looked and saw part of my skull and almost fainted : P 

I think I would've died of blood loss, tho.. if my parents hadn't sped me to the hospital immediately (which was about 4 blocks away). 

P.S.  So the point is.. I do have to wonder what all happened here to cause this child to die, considering that it is apparently possible to fall forehead-first into the corner of a stone step and still not even have a concussion. 

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