A Florida mother received the shock of her last month when she received a phone call from her babysitter saying her three-year-old had died.
The babysitter, identified as 25-year-old Joshua Manns, told her that her son, Jameson Nance, had drowned in the bathtub. However, it was later revealed that the child was abused and murdered by the babysitter.
Manns Said He Had a 'Seizure' While the Boy was in the Bathtub
According to newly released arrest affidavits, Manns was babysitting the preschooler at his West Melbourne home while his mom was at work on June 11. Just as she was preparing to leave from work, she received the phone call from Manns saying Nance had drowned. When the mother rushed home, she found Nance dead in the bathroom and realized that Manns had left without calling for medical assistance.
According to investigators, Manns left a handwritten note in the apartment saying, "I had a seizure" while Nance was in the bathtub and drowned. "No one would believe me and I does not want to spend the rest of his life in prison for something I did not do," he added.
Medical Examiner Found No Evidence of Drowning
The medical examiner did not find any evidence of drowning. However, the autopsy revealed that Nance suffered from battered child syndrome from weeks-old injuries including a broken rib, stab wounds to the head and brain swelling.
Over the past two years, the Department of Children and Family Services had probed how Nance had twice broken his leg and edured burns on his arms. Shortly before his death, the department had visited Nance's daycare to investigate "suspicious" injuries.
Manns Arrested, Charged with Child Neglect, Murder and Child Abuse
After spending two weeks on the run, Manns was arrested by agents of the U.S. Marshalls Service on June 28 in Tifton, Georgia, where he was with his relatives.
Manns has been charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse in addition to child neglect with great bodily harm. He remains in jail without bond. According to the arrest report, Manns lived at the same apartment complex as Nance and his mom.