Mom Allegedly Tied Up Son and Threw Him into Pool Before Beating Him To Death, Told Sibling He Was 'Faking' It

Patricia Saintizaire is charged with first-degree murder

<p>Polk County Sheriff

Polk County Sheriff's Office

Patricia Saintizaire

Content warning: The following article contains descriptions of child abuse.

A Florida mother is charged with murder after her 4-year-old son died as a result of her alleged abuse.

Patricia Saintizaire, 36, is facing a charge of first-degree murder after her son, whom she adopted from Haiti last year, died on May 2, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says in a release. Saintizaire was arrested after hospital staff told authorities the boy died under “suspicious circumstances,” police say.

The sheriff’s office says an autopsy concluded that the child suffered from a deep liver laceration that was the result of a targeted blunt force trauma injury, as well as “scarring on his back, with old scarring present, as well as fresh scars that would've occurred while the victim was living in the United States.”

The liver laceration caused a rapid decline in the boy’s condition, police say, citing the autopsy.

When police interviewed the victim’s older brother, who is a teenager, he initially denied that Saintizaire had abused him or that he had witnessed any abuse. But after being taken into the custody of Florida Department of Children and Families, police say the teen told detectives that Saintizaire had threatened to kill him with a gun and had allegedly said “when they ask you something, say nothing so I don't get in trouble.”

Police say that Saintizaire allegedly told the teen that the 4-year-old was "faking it" after he was seen looking lethargic and unable to walk.

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The sheriff’s officer further added that a video from home surveillance found on Saintizaire’s phone allegedly showed her hitting the child with an object while he was unresponsive on the ground, while another showed her allegedly throw him into a pool with his hands tied behind his back.

Saintizaire is also charged with aggravated child abuse and tampering with a witness. It is not immediately clear if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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