KANSAS CITY, Missouri - A 5-year-old Kansas City child is being investigated in the drowning death of an 18-month-old boy last Friday, authorities said.
According to the Associated Press, police said the 5-year-old girl allegedly dragged the boy to the bathtub and held the child under water at his home near 26th Street and Elmwood Avenue.
Police said she told social workers she didn't like the boy because he cried too much.
The victim, who has been identified as Jermane Johnson Jr., lived in St. Louis but was being cared for by family at the 26th and Elmwood home.
Police tell us a 16-year-old relative was watching the boy and several other children at the time of the drowning and no one else was home.
On his Facebook page, the boy’s father writes, “I just got asked the hardest question that no parent should never answer. What kind of caskets do I want to put my son in?”
Crittenton child psychiatrist, Dr. Carla Wakefield, is not surprised that a 5-year-old could drown another child.
“They (5-year olds) are still engaged in magical thinking,” explained Wakefield. “They believe in fairy tales and so when they are playing and they kill-off their characters, the characters come back to life.
"So, she does not have what we would consider an adult understanding of the finality of what she did,” added Wakefield.
Wakefield said the 5-year-old should be placed in a hospital, evaluated and treated.
“Her brain is still developing there is much hope and opportunity for her and it is a tragic situation if that label she had to carry for the rest of her life was that she was a murderer,” Wakefield explained
Wakefield reminds parents to closely supervise their children, teach them the difference between right and wrong and coping strategies for dealing with anger.
Funeral services for Johnson will be held in St. Louis on Monday.
The boy’s father asked for donations to be made at any Neighbors Credit Union in the “Jermane L. Johnson Jr. Memorial Account”.
The girl has not been arrested. The case was referred to the Jackson County's family courts division.
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