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Police: Middletown suspects used belts, sticks and hands to beat boys

Suspects in Middletown beating. Ramona Bostian, left, Rachel Bostian, middle, Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, right.

UPDATE:

MIDDLETOWN (WRGT) - A 5-year-old boy police say was brutally beaten by his mother and her two friends, has died. Middletown Police say Alexander Stephens passed away shortly after 8:00 a.m. today at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Doctors say his death is the result of the assault he suffered.

Stephens' mother, Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, and Rachel Bostain were charged with murder today, April 29, and bond set at $1 million each. Hawkins-Stephens and Rachel Bostian also face two counts of felonious assault and two counts of felony child endangering. The third suspect, Ramona Bostian, was not charged with murder, but still faces two counts of felonious assault and two counts of felony child endangering. Her bond was set at $500,000.

According to a criminal complaint, the women are accused of tying Stephens and his 6-year-old brother in blankets and beat the boys over the course of more than 20 hours. A search warrant says the women used belts, wooden sticks and their hands to punch and slap the children. There has been no update yet about the condition of the Stephens' brother, a 6-year-old boy who was also severely beaten.

All three suspects are expected to appear in court again on a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court on May 6th at 1:30 p.m.

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Earlier Coverage:

MIDDLETOWN (WRGT) -- After police say two little boys were wrapped in blankets and brutally beaten, police say their own mother is one of three arrests made in the case.

Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, Rachel Bostian and Ramona Bostian have all been arrested and charged with child endangering and felonious assault.

"We have officers on scene, 20-year officers, and it's the worst beating they've seen in their career," said Major Mark Hoffman with Middletown police.

Hoffman said the abuse of the 5- and 6-year-olds happened over about 20 hours, and started on Tuesday morning, April 26. He said the boys, their mother, and the two other women were camping in the woods while trying to find work.

"We were camping in the woods and he escaped the tent when we were sleeping," said 911 caller Rachel Bostian just before 9 Wednesday night, "he was gone for a couple of days and some kids got a hold of him and messed him up real bad."

Police said they did not buy that story, almost right away.

"If you have a 5-year-old that's missing you certainly would not wait several days," said Major Hoffman.

Police said the five and 6-year-old's, who were malnourished, trying to take food at their campsite so they were wrapped and tied in blankets and beaten as punishment. Police said the beating started Tuesday morning and lasted about 20 hours. Wednesday morning, Police said they were moved to the Parkway Inn motel in Middletown, where Bostian called 911 when the five-year-old became unresponsive.

"Is he alive?" Asked a dispatcher.

"Yes, we're -- we're, he he stopped breathing but we are doing chest compressions and CPR and he's responding to it," said the caller hesitantly.

"I saw a bunch of flashing lights over there, went over there was like 12 cops and ambulances and fire trucks," said Parkway resident Chris Thompson who witnessed the crime scene.

Thompson said he couldn't get the image out of his head, the kids being put in the back of the ambulance.

"Oh I'll remember it, just because it's got to do with kids, I've got kids of my own," Thompson said, "whatever they get they deserve it."

FOX 45 spoke with Middletown police on Thursday evening, they did not provide an updated condition of the five-year-old boy. At last check he was in critical condition, and the six-year-old had still been hospitalized in serious condition.

The three women arrested for all charged with two counts of felonious assault and two counts of child endangering. They are expected in court in middle town Friday morning.

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UPDATE:

MIDDLETOWN -- "We were camping in the woods and he escaped the tent when we were sleeping and he was gone for a couple of days and some kids got a hold of him and messed him up real bad," said the 911 caller to a dispatcher.

A five year old boy is fighting for his life tonight, APRIL 28, 2016 after police said he was brutally beaten by three women, including his own mother.

Investigators said the boy's six-year-old brother was also severely injured.

"To do something as horrific and as terrible as this, it just seems senseless, utterly senseless.," said Middletown Police Department Major Mark Hoffman.

Three women are in jail charged with felonious assault and child endangering.

Police said Theresa Hawking-Stephens., the mother of the five and six year old, her friend Rachel Bostian and Rachel's mother, Ramona Bostian. all beat the boys.

The women and children were camping out here in the woods for about a week. Then Tuesday morning the children were harmed.

"One of the children had taken some food and the three women decided to discipline the children," said Hoffman

"They wrapped them in blankets and they tied the blankets around them and beat the children for several hours," said Hoffman.

Yesterday morning the women and children checked in the Parkway Inn motel

Last night they called 911

"Please hurry," said the caller.

"Is he alive?" asked the dispatcher.

"Yes. He stopped breathing but we're resuming chest compression and CPR," said the caller.

Major Hoffman said the children were severely beaten.

"Once they were tied them inside the sheets, they weren't let out and of course defecated in the sheets and were beaten while in these blankets," said Hoffman.

"The detective on the scene said this is nothing short of torture, these kids. I mean it went on over 20 hours," said Hoffman.

"I don't know what they'll do to them, but it won't be enough", said Robert Moon.

Robert Moon lives at the motel, above the room where the women and kids were staying.

"I think they should be put in jail and everyday taken out and beaten and put back in," said Moon.

Hoffman said it's pretty unusual for a birth parent to harm their children like this.

"And you just wonder what kind of monster can do that to their children," said Hoffman.

The six-year- old is in the hospital.

His condition isn't as serious as the five year old's.

The three women are expected in court tomorrow.



MIDDLETOWN (WRGT) -- Police arrested three people living inside a hotel after receiving a call that a child there was dead.

Police were dispatched to the Parkway Inn at 2425 North Verity Parkway around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on a report of a child dead inside room 130.

Upon arrival, authorities discovered a five-year-old who suffered from life-threatening injuries, officers immediately administered first aid to the child. Middletown paramedics arrived a short time later and began treating the child.

The five-year-old was taken to Atrium Medical Center, then transferred to Cincinnati Children's Hospital due to the seriousness of the injuries.

As officers were investigating the situation, they located six-year-old brother to the five-year-old concealed under a blanket in the room. The six-year-old also suffered from serious injuries and was immediately transported to Cincinnati's Children's Hospital in Liberty Township by paramedics.

All three suspects staying at the hotel were detained. 26-year-old Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, her friend Rachel Bostian, age 29 and Bostian's mother, Ramona Bostian, age 56, were all apprehended and charged with two counts of felony child endangering and two counts of felonious assault.

All three remain in the Middletown City Jail and are expected to appear in court Thursday morning.

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