According to the police officials, the 31-year-old woman turned herself last Thursday. She is being charged with felony child endangerment and tampering with evidence. Her 2-year-old son was found dead at her boyfriend’s home on Oct. 11, 2018. He had allegedly been smothered to death and found on the floor beside his crib. A detailed autopsy report also found evidence of blunt force trauma. Authorities think that she was drunk and asleep in another room when her boyfriend murdered her son.
Charges against McDaniel stem from unearthed texts and messages that McDaniel deleted in the wake of her son’s death. She also failed to disclose the texts to the police, hindering the investigation.
Investigators said the deleted texts came from her boyfriend and included graphic and violent messages regarding the child. Some were as recent as last spring.
The discovery came after a Secret Service lab examined Staley’s phone.
While some of the messages and texts were too graphic to be published, some showed that Staley referred to the boy with dozens of “dehumanizing” names and expressed hope that he’d die of SIDS. Staley also referenced punching the child.
“I should have punched him in the face and kicked him to the floor and said (expletive) you, snake,” Staley allegedly wrote.
Despite the messages, authorities said McDaniel allowed Staley to babysit Wilder while she worked as a bartender.
In one recorded video, Staley filmed the boy, who had bruises on his head and face. “It’s quite the shiner, but you think I pushed you off the bed?” Staley asked the boy.
Staley also used homophobic and racist slurs against the child, authorities said.
Her boyfriend, James Staley III, is currently awaiting trial after a grand jury indicted him for murder in 2020.
Amber McDaniel was released on $60,000 bond on the same day she turned herself in.