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Twin Cities woman charged with killing her 10-month-old son shortly after regaining custody

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Twin Cities woman charged with killing her 10-month-old son shortly after regaining custody

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Authorities have charged a Brooklyn Center woman with killing her 10-month-old son just two months after she regained custody of the boy.

Arneshia K. Cunigan, 30, was charged Thursday in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the boy’s April 20 death in his apartment.

Cunigan is due back in court on February 2 in another abuse case filed against her last year involving the same child, when he was 4 months old.

The criminal complaint filed this week did not identify the boy by name.

Messages were left for Cunigan and his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.

The boy had a twin sister, but Cunigan “didn’t abuse [her], because she was the defendant’s favourite,” according to the criminal complaint filed this week.

According to the latest complaint:

Cunigan called 911 around 8 p.m. and said her son was not breathing. Rescuers arrived and saw Cunigan performing chest compressions on the boy, who “was visibly blue-purple”, the complaint reads.

Despite rescue efforts by police, paramedics and hospital medical staff, the boy died shortly after 9.10pm.

Cunigan told first responders she had the boy take a nap with a bottle of formula shortly before calling 911. She went to see him and saw he was not breathing. She said she saw formula milk coming out of his nose when she picked up the boy and thought he might have choked.

The medical examiner’s office said its autopsy found nothing to indicate choking or other evidence that the formula played a role in the boy’s death. The autopsy revealed visible bruising around the boy’s mouth and nose, as well as bruising near one ear and under his lip. Bruises were also detected on the front and back of his torso.

“Findings are consistent with death from choking or suffocation by blocking the victim’s airway,” the complaint reads.

In the felony case filed in August, Cunigan took the boy to North Memorial Health Hospital on October 30, 2020 and said the child appeared to have pain in his arm. An examination revealed a broken elbow, a cut under the lip and “probable fractures” to a rib, ankle, wrist and knee.

“She claimed that he must have been injured when his older siblings – aged 9, 11 and 7 – played with him or handled him roughly,” the charges state. “None of the victim’s injuries should be caused by routine adult care or handling by another child.”

The boy and his twin sister were quickly placed on “health and welfare awaiting” and placed in foster care until February 18, 2021, when the two were reunited with their mother.

One of his sons moved with his father to another state. The man said his son told him the twin cried a lot and that their mother would cover the baby when he cried. The son later told an investigator he saw Cunigan choking and shaking his baby brother.

Twin Cities woman charged with killing her 10-month-old son shortly after regaining custody

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