Cops say: Child duct taped and beaten unconscious at the hands of his father
SOUTH BEND, Ind. The investigation continued Saturday into the death of Tramelle Sturgis, 10.
Sturgis was found unresponsive and displaying no signs of life early Friday morning.
Officers were called to the home on the 1100 block of West Washington Street on the city's west side, court documents say who made the call for help.
According to court documents, Tramelle had suffered numerous injuries, both new ad old. He had a broken arm and broken leg. He had numerous bruises over his entire body. Some of them appeared to be fresh, while some appeared to be healing. An autopsy is still pending to determine the exact cause of death.
Police told ABC 57 News that Tramelle's father, Terry Sturgis admitted to beating Tramelle and his 14-year-old brother.
Originally Sturgis told officers that Tramelle had fallen down the stairs.
Tramelle's brother told investigators that he and Tramelle were beaten by their father for hours Friday night and into the early morning. He said that his father used a club or a stick, along with his hands. He said they were duct taped at the wrists.
Tramelle was beaten until he collapsed and lost consciousness and never woke up.
Saturday ABC 57 News caught up with family members to get their reaction and a better understanding of what could lead up to such a horrific crime.
Denise Ervin, cousin to Terry Sturgis said that Sturgis had been placed on dialysis for a bad liver and poor kidneys. She said that he has been stressed out lately.
"The signs were there, but it just didn't add up," Ervin said off camera.
Denise said that she had noticed once in a while knots on Tramelle's head but was always told by his dad that he had been fighting again at school.
Denise and her son Theodore, who live right across the street from where Tramell died said they never suspected child abuse.
"You can see the signs now," Denise said.
"Never saw it coming, nope," Theodore added.
"I feel angry, angry, oppressed. Every night I cry. I wake up and cry. Last night I cried," said Theodore.
Nine kids were in the home at the time of the beatings, they ranged in age from 4 to 17. As of Saturday night the children were in protective custody.
Tramelle's 14-year-old brother, who we are not going to identify because he is a victim of crime remains hospitalized according to the family, listed in stable condition.
"The kids have been told what happened, they know," Denise said.
Tramelle was described by family members as outgoing, who was a talented artist and as a kid who enjoyed playing with his siblings.
"I miss you, I wish you were here and I love you. I know you're up there with God. God called you to be up there with him, but I really love you," Theodore said, fighting back tears.