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Frederick County 2-year-old Homicide Investigation

Doctors say the little boy had a skull fracture consuming about three quarters of his skull.
FREDERICK COUNTY, MD - We're learning more about the homicide investigation involving a two-year-old Thurmont boy, Robert Watkins.

The Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, DC says the cause of death is homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head.

Doctors say the little boy had a skull fracture consuming about three quarters of his skull. They also noticed marks and bruises in different stages of healing all over the boy's body.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office says the boy was abused by his care taker, and another care taker tried to cover it up.

Raymond Brittle faces first and second degree child abuse charges. Melissa Brittle faces an accessory after the statute charge, and a second degree child abuse charge.

Both are due back in court on October 9 for a preliminary hearing.

Court documents say the abuse happened on September 5 at the Brittle's Thurmont home on Apples Church Road.

Melissa told doctors at Frederick Memorial Hospital the little boy had fallen down a set of stairs.

A search warrant on Melissa and Raymond's cell phones indicated Melissa had an active role in trying to mislead the investigation, and that she was aware of the abuse, according to court documents.

When Raymond was brought in for questioning, he tried telling police the boy had fallen off the trampoline, but after further investigation police believe both were lying.

Court documents say on the night of the abuse, Raymond became mad at the boy for not eating his dinner, and spanked the boy with his hand and a belt.

Documents also allege he picked up the boy by his head and shook him forcefully. He also set the little boy on the kitchen floor and kicked him in the chest area, which forced him to slide back into the cabinets.

The little boy was transferred to Children's Hospital in critical condition that same night. Police say doctors could not proceed with the surgery due to the amount of swelling in the boy's head.

WHAG spoke with neighbors in the area  who say they were shocked to hear what happened. A few also shared, they loved seeing the two-year-old boy and called him little man.

Four other children were also living in the same house. The Sheriff's Office said they were taken by Child Protective Services.
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