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A Fort Wayne toddler died from severe injuries after he was beaten by his mother’s boyfriend, according to court documents obtained by WANE.
Police say Mitchell Vanryn was watching his girlfriend’s son, 2-year-old Malakai Garrett, while she was at work on November 29.
According to court documents, Vanryn told police he put Garrett down for a nap around 1 p.m., and he was still asleep at 4:10 p.m. Vanryn said he slapped the boy in the face in order to wake him up. When that didn’t work, he put him in the bathtub with cold water.
Home surveillance video from a neighbor shows Vanryn run out of the house with Garrett in his arms at 4:43 p.m. The boy looked limp and unresponsive.
Vanryn took the boy to Fort Wayne Fire Department Station #13, and he was transported to a local hospital. Garrett was pronounced dead around 6:15 p.m.
An autopsy showed Garrett had extensive and severe bruising in numerous locations, including the chest, stomach, back, face, and head. He also had severe injuries to his stomach, liver, small intestine, and pancreas. The doctor who conducted the autopsy told police the injuries were consistent with blows from a fist.
Vanryn was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and domestic battery. WANE reports his next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.
Vanryn's charge was changed to murder; but Malakai's mother Amber Unverzagt is still free. She posted a video of Malakai, the night before he passed, telling her "Mitch hit my head". She laughs it off and says "you fix my head". Amber knew what was happening to her son, the bruises and injuries were very obvious along with multiple trips to the ER. Malakai has had a busted lip, black eyes, numerous bruising on his neck, face, groin, stomach, everywhere. Amber should not be free and have the ability to get tattoos while the ones who loved Malakai are mourning his loss. Please sign this petition if you believe Amber Unverzagt should be charged as well.
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