North Carolina college professor has been charged with murdering his 6-week-old adoptive son. According to WBTV.
Van Erick Custodio was initially charged with one count for felony child cruelty when authorities were summoned to the home.
The infant’s death occurred only a few weeks after his placement with Custodio and his wife.
The couple had previously been foster parents and had adopted one child, and had raised money to adopt a second child, creating a GoFundMe that raised $10,000 and garnering help from Both Hands Foundation — a nonprofit that help’s family’s adoption fundraising efforts.
Custodio said that he created the video to assist in raising funds. “We’re not people to go out and ask for this, so it’s more trying to allow God to do his work and some friends of us reached out to us and said I’m shocked at how much adoptions cost,
“Why does it cost so much? So they decided to one donate money to us which we were very humbled and couldn’t believe people would want to do that when there are so many other causes out there.”
In a statement to People, the nonprofit said, “Our team is incredibly devastated about this news. These actions are atrocious. We condemn all violence against children.
Custodio stated on the platforms that he and his wife were unable to have children due to medical reasons, According to WBTV.
Lucas Birchim, a baby, was taken to the hospital for life-threatening injuries he sustained as a result of physical abuse.
According to WSOC-TV the infant suffered, “a skull fracture, broken rib, and multiple fractures in each leg,”
According to authorities, friends told the police during the investigation that Custodio allegedly confessed that he threw the newborn on the couch and “The child was squeezed and a pop heard in his ribs.” and “He jerked the legs back of the child and felt a pop in his legs.” while changing the baby’s diaper, the station reported.
The infant died on April 13 from his injuries, and Custodio was charged with first-degree murder, according to authorities.
A statement from Belmont Abbey College to WBTV said that Custodio was not presently working for them.
“He took a family leave recently and was no longer working for the college. He was removed from Belmont Abbey’s teaching staff effective 4/13/2022.” the statement read.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected by this tragedy.”
According to the outlet, UNC Charlotte has also placed Custodio on administrative leave.
“UNC Charlotte employed Van Erick Custodio as an adjunct teacher in a class this semester on a temporary, limited contract.” the university said in a statement.
“He is now on administrative leave. A different faculty member will take over the class for the rest of the semester.