Crime

Toddler Dies From Mom's Boyfriend's 'Wrestling Moves' (Photo)

| by Michael Howard

A 2-year-old Missouri girl is dead after her mother's boyfriend allegedly performed "wrestling moves" on her.

Richard Gamache Jr., 24, was arrested and charged with abuse and neglect of a child, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His girlfriend, 19-year-old Cheyenne Cook, has also been arrested and is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Their bails have been set at $500,000 and $2,500, respectively.

The toddler, identified as Addie Cook, died on May 19. She had been taken to a hospital on May 16 after suffering seizures in her home.

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Investigators noted that Addie had obvious signs of physical trauma, KTVI reports. They later determined that the trauma was the result of Gamache performing wrestling moves, including the "Batista Bomb," on the child.

A "Batista Bomb," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, involves lifting a person by the waist, flipping them up so that they're sitting on one's shoulders, and then slamming them down on their back.

"This child was essentially tortured," Sheriff David Marshak said in a press release. "Our prayers are with [Addie Cook] and the investigators that were intimately involved with this investigation."

Police say Gamache and Cheyenne exchanged messages about how to cover up signs of abuse.

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In one text message, Gamache reportedly attached an image of Addie with bruises on her face and forehead, according to KMOV. He explained in the message that he had been playing "rough" with the toddler.

"It’s insane how rough I am with her," he wrote.

Gamache initially told police he didn't know how Addie sustained her injuries. However, he later admitted to wrestling with her on several occasions and said he believed he was responsible for the bruises on her body. Gamache added that Addie may have suffered head trauma after hitting her head on a concrete wall.

Police say Gamache abused Addie over time, and that Addie's mother allowed it to happen without intervening or seeking medical assistance.

The charges against Gamache and Cheyenne are expected to be upgraded to reflect that the toddler died as a direct result of the abuse, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On a GoFundMe page set up in Addie's name, her grandfather described the crime as a "violent act of homicide."

"Please do not leave your children with people you don’t know," he wrote. "One officer on the scene said this is the worst case he seen in his 19 years on the force. Yes, her mother is at fault her too for trying to cover this up. She has lost everything now. I hope she grows up in jail. We need to push for stronger grandparents rights in MO, we did not have custody of Addie."

Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KTVI, KMOV, GoFundMe / Photo credit: Pixabay, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office via St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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