A Milwaukee mother is accused of killing her 4-year-old son with autism by binding him with belts and setting him on fire, according to court documents.
Amelia Di Stasio, 23, faces a charge of first-degree intentional homicide for her son Antonio’s death.
According to court documents obtained by WITI, firefighter’s found the child’s lifeless body in the bathtub after responding to reports of “smoke” at an apartment on Sept. 28.
“The majority of his body was burned,” the complaint stated.
The child’s hand were bound behind his back, and there was a bag over his head. Investigators said an “unknown accelerant” was used to start the fire.
The complaint said a pet guinea pig was found drowned next to the tub.
The mother was not at home when first responders arrived. They said the smoke detector had been removed and submerged into water.
A witness told investigators that Amelia “wasn’t friendly and kept to herself.” She noted that on the day before Antonio was found dead, she heard him say “‘Please, Mommy. Stop! I won’t do it again.’ She said she heard Amelia yell ‘Shut up.'”
An autopsy revealed seven belts were used to secure the boy’s hands and arms to his sides. A plastic bag was put on his head — pulled tight and knotted. It found “significant charring” to his skin. The medical examiner’s office confirmed that Antonio’s death was a homicide.
Another witness told police that she saw a “frazzled” woman jump from the windowsill of the apartment building on Sept. 28.
Detectives arrested Di Stasio later that day after an officer saw her walking down the street, WITI reports.
“It’s impossible to describe it. I got to hope that Antonio is in heaven and I got to pray that Amelia gets help if she needs help and I believe she does,” Amelia’s father Ralph Di Stasio told the station.
Investigators searched her purse and found a note with a name and phone number on it. They called it and spoke with a man and woman who met Di Stasio earlier they day. She was crying, they said.
According to the complaint, Di Stasio asked the couple if they knew a pastor. She claimed that she “did something really bad,” and “never did nothing like that before.”
It also showed that Di Stasio had used her cell phone to perform searches including “how do canabals (sic) die” and “how to kill a canabal (sic)” the very same day of her son’s death. It also revealed that she visited a message board that “detailed the ways to kill cannibals within the game,” and recommended to “kill it with fire.” It also discussed how, in the game, cannibals “like to bathe in oil.”
If convicted, Di Stasio faces life in prison.