A Milwaukee couple has been charged in connection with the death of the woman's 4-year-old daughter, who authorities say was found lifeless and covered in bruises in her home last week.
At 7 a.m. last Friday, police arrived to home of Christina Collado, 21, and found her daughter, Autumn Horak, “pulseless and not breathing,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by Fox 6 News.
Autumn was only wearing a diaper and had extensive bruises on her jaw, head, arm and sternum, as well as a burn and what authorities described as a “human bite mark" on her skin, the complaint said. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
Collado and her boyfriend, Jerome Millen, 22, have been charged after prosecutors said Autumn was “utterly tortured over a period of months.”
Millen initially fled from the home before authorities arrived, but was later found at his friend’s house and arrested, authorities said. Police said both Millen and Collado told them that Millen had been abusing the child, according to the complaint.
Cops said Collado told them that last Friday, she heard a loud banding sound and saw Millen trying to forcibly get Autumn to go to sleep in an effort she described as “going too far.” She also told police she saw him slam the child’s head on the floor, according the police report.
When authorities questioned Millen and told him Autumn had died, he allegedly said “so my life is over,” and then proceeded to tell them that he had covered the 4-year-old’s mouth multiple times in an effort to get her to go to sleep, according to the complaint.
“If all the injuries caused (her) to die, it's my fault, my fault,” Millen allegedly said. “If she suffocated, that is my responsibility and I killed that child.'"
An autopsy declared the child's cause of death as homicide by suffocation, according to Fox 6 News.
Collado, who allegedly admitted that she’d also seen Millen bite her daughter on two separate occasions, also reportedly admitted to police that if she had “properly protected” the child, she’d still be alive, according to the police report.
Family members also told WISN 13 News that Millen had been abusing for the girl for some time, but they feared reporting it.
Millen is charged with physical abuse of a child resulting in death, while Collado has been charged with chronic neglect of a child resulting in death.
The two appeared in Milwaukee County Court Tuesday.
Millen was held in the Milwaukee County Jail on $200,000 bail. If found guilty, he faces up to life in prison.
Collado was held in the Milwaukee County Jail on $100,000 bail. If convicted, she faces up to 60 years in prison.