The death of an 8-month-old baby that took place 53 years ago is being investigated again â€“ after the childâ€™s now 77-year-old mother recently confessed to killing her son.
JaniceÂ Summerfield, who lives in a nursing home in Michigan, reportedly told her 54-year-old daughter PaulaÂ GastianÂ that she killed little William EarlÂ SummerfieldÂ III on May 29, 1961 inÂ Tekonsha, reportsÂ Fox News. The cause of death at the time was anoxia, or oxygen deprivation to the brain, but investigators at the Calhoun County Sheriff Department recently removed his casket from a cemetery grave in order to open a fresh homicide investigation. Autopsy results are pending.
SummerfieldÂ reportedly confessed to her daughter, â€śMy mind wasnâ€™t right. I killed that baby. I didnâ€™t know what I was doing.â€ť
The mother allegedly smothered her infant son and then placed the baby in bed next to his four-and-a-half year old brother Phil, who was asleep at the time.
â€śI was shy of 5 years old,â€ť Phil, now 58, said. â€śI woke and he was dead. I picked him up and took him downstairs. She told me it was my fault.â€ť
For years, Phil says he went through life believing he had killed his own baby brother.
According toÂ Gastian, she and her brother were raised in an abusive home in which they watchedÂ SummerfieldÂ take drugs and dealt with a father who was never around â€“ and who was ultimately sent to prison for sexually assaulting a friendâ€™s child.
After reportedly â€śfinding God,â€ťÂ SummerfieldÂ decided to confess to her daughter. Her story has madeÂ GastianÂ now question whether her mother was also responsible for killing her twin sisters, who were born in 1969 and whom reportedly died a few months later. The cause of their death at the time was thought to be lung disease.
â€śI donâ€™t want her to go to prison,â€ťÂ GastianÂ said of her mother. â€śBut it needs to be put on record. She needs to be somewhere for what she has done.â€ť