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An 18-month-old Blount County boy died Monday, three days after he was gravely injured while in the care of his mother’s boyfriend, authorities say.

Enzo McCormack was formally pronounced dead at Children’s of Alabama, said Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon. His body will now be taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for autopsy, He is an organ donor, the sheriff said.

The boy’s mother, 24-year-old Samantha McCormack, and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Robert Elmore Jr., are being held without bond in the Blount County Jail, jail records show, after being arrested over the weekend. Initially McCormack was charged with first-degree reckless assault and Elmore with attempted murder. Moon said Elmore will now be charged with capital murder and McCormack with reckless murder.

The charging documents reflect a number of conflicting stories told by McCormack and Elmore as to how the boy was critically injured. Sheriff’s investigators worked throughout the weekend, ultimately obtaining warrants Sunday afternoon against the couple for their actions.

Sheriff’s Investigator Edward Hull wrote in documents he interviewed McCormack, who told authorities she was home with the children while they were eating, and she went into the other room to use the bathroom. It was then, she said, she heard something fall and returned to the children to find the 18-month old was choking and had fallen. She told lawmen she cleared his mouth and he quit choking. That was about 5:40 p.m.

A little while later, she said, she noticed he wasn’t doing well so she bathed him and decided to take him to the hospital. She waited until her grandmother came from Oneonta to take care of the other kids – the victim’s twin sister and a 3-year-old brother.

She then drove to the hardware store. While waiting in line to pay for gas, she told a worker her son was hurt and that he’d fallen at home. The worker went to the car and saw the boy was limp. She called 911.

While first responders were waiting for the air transport to arrive, Elmore Jr. and his parents, as well as the victim’s two siblings, showed up at the scene saying he had received a message from McCormack that the boy was ill. Elmore told investigators he had gone to McCormack’s grandmother’s house to pick up the other two children. When questioned further, however, he couldn’t provide deputies with the grandmother’s address or telephone number.

Deputies went to the home where McCormack said the fall happened only to find out that McCormack didn’t live there and hadn’t been there, records state. It was then, the investigator noted in records, that McCormack admitted she lived with Elmore on Lanningham Road in Cleveland. Investigators went there to hold the scene.

The Department of Human Resources was also summoned to check on the well-being of the victim’s twin and their older brother.

Hull, the investigator, learned the boy had been wrapped in a Hunt Brother’s pizza bag when he had arrived at the store, and then the hospital. He also learned the siblings were being brought to the hospital to be examined for possible abuse.

He noted in the charging documents that Elmore told several stories about the events of that day. He first denied hurting the boy, and then said basically that he accidentally dropped him while he was getting him out of a play pen. Once he realized the boy was hurt, he said, he messaged McCormack who said to wait for her to get home from work. He said he was keeping the kids because he had lost his job several months ago.

Meanwhile, doctors determined the boy’s twin sister had no injuries, but said the 3-year-old brother also had bruises behind his ears and under his chin and had a skull fracture similar to his little brother’s. Elmore denied hurting the 3-year-old.

in the documents the following injuries for the 18-month-old victim: head trauma, closed head trauma, brain injury, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, multiple retinal hemorrhages and multiple contusions to the head and body. The boy, the record states, is a “victim of a severe battering and shaking injury. There has been no plausible accidental injury to explain his many injuries. so this is physical abuse. It would take an adult sized person to pick him up and cause these injuries. If the history is accurate, the only adults at home were mother and mother’s boyfriend. He would have been symptomatic immediately after sustaining the injuries and would not appear normal to anyone who was observing him. (The victim) is not expected to survive.”

Hull interviewed Elmore again Sunday and that is when Elmore indicated he had picked up the boy who then grabbed his chest hairs. “He lost his temper,’’ the investigator wrote. He said he let go of the boy, who hit the play pen and then the floor. Elmore said he then picked him up and shook him because he was unresponsive.

The victim’s brother has been released from the hospital. He and Enzo’s twin are now in DHR custody.
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McCormack and Elmore were interviewed multiple times. Eventually, according to records, McCormack admitted she had lied about where she was living and with whom. Deputies learned the child had been removed from McCormack’s custody on Oct. 16, 2018. A protection from abuse was obtained by McCormack against Elmore in March of 2019 and the children were returned to McCormack on June 17, 2019.

She said when she got home from work, the boy was bleeding from the mouth. She put a popsicle on the cut, and then put him in the shower to try to wake him up. She said had not called 911 because she was afraid DHR would again take her kids.

Better to have them beaten and killed than removed from a home where the penis can't keep his hands off your kids.
 
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