5-Year-Old Girl Drowned Toddler Cousin Who "Wouldn't Stop Crying"

Family Matters on 06.14.11


In Kansas City, Missouri, a 5-year-old girl confessed to drowning her 18-month-old cousin in a bathtub when he wouldn't be quiet while a teen babysitter napped, reports MSNBC.

"She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying," said Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp. "I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's the youngest suspect I can remember."

According to MSNBC, police are "treating the death as a potential homicide," and will let prosecutors decide if and how to charge the girl. The case was moved to family court and the young girl has not been arrested.

Child advocates at the Annie E. Casey Foundation point out that a five-year-old is too young to commit murder as a result of intent, and suggest that the girl may not even understand the idea of "drowning."

"You can imagine a child responding to other children's crying by saying, 'I know how to stop that,'" says the Foundation's Bart Lubow."But the notion that there was intent there is silly. For a 5-year-old, this is well beyond the pale of what our criminal or delinquency laws are intended to address."

The minimum age to stand trial in Missouri is 12.

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