A 13-year-old boy arrested on a murder complaint in connection with his baby sister's death told police he shook the infant because her cries were distracting him from playing video games, investigators said.
Linda Beletzuy, 10 months, died Friday. Her brother, Crystian Rivera, 13, was arrested earlier in the week on a child abuse complaint after police responded to a hospital where the girl was brought in with serious injuries. The girl had been left in Rivera's care before she was injured.
Rivera told police his sister started to cry when he was playing video games inside their apartment at 1609 N MacArthur Blvd. He said his character in the game was killed, and he became angry and picked her up and shook her.
He said afterward he went back to playing video games, and she continued to cry and eventually fell asleep, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Police were called to a children's hospital Wednesday shortly after 10 p.m. to investigate a suspected child abuse. Medical staff told officers the infant was being transferred from Deaconess Hospital because of a serious injury, which did not match the parent's explanation.
Medical staff told officers the girl had a severe brain injury, a skull fracture and blood clots that were compressing her brain.
Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office, said Linda Beletzuy died of a head injury. The manner of her death was ruled a homicide, Ballard said.
The mother told officers the infant fell off her bed. She also said the baby fell from the passenger seat of their vehicle to the floorboard a few days before, but she wasn't present either time when her daughter fell.
Medical officials said the baby's injuries weren't consistent with an accidental fall.
Officers picked up two other children in the home and brought them in for questioning. Both parents said the girl was left in the care of Rivera for more than six hours while they were at work.
Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said Rivera first was taken to Berry House on a child abuse complaint, but he was picked up and taken to the Oklahoma County jail and booked on a murder complaint after the girl died.
Wardlow said the parents are not being investigated for any wrongdoing, although a third child in the house was taken into DHS custody at least temporarily.
“There is nothing illegal about leaving a child in the care of a 13-year-old,” Wardlow said. “They had no idea this was going to happen. They were not arrested, and we don't anticipate that.”
Sheree Powell, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the agency can't comment on the case or custody of the third child taken from the house.
She said state law only allows the agency to release information within three years of a child's death if there has been an order from the court or when a person responsible for a child has been criminally charged with their death.