UNIONTOWN (KDKA) — The grandmother of a 4-year-old boy who died after being badly beaten says she tried to tell authorities about the abuse.
Sharon Smitley says her grandson was terrified of his mother’s boyfriend.
She said he would lock himself in the bedroom and hide under the bed when his mother and her boyfriend would come to pick him up.
“And I want every single mother out there to know, ‘Don’t trust nobody,’” Smitley told KDKA-TV.
She’s keeping a photo of her grandson, Trenton St. Clair, close to her heart, still trying to understand his death.
He died Tuesday at Ruby Memorial Medical Center with extensive and severe bruising all over his body. His mother’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Patrick Haney, of Point Marion, is charged with criminal homicide.
Trent’s mother, 27-year-old Heather Forsythe, faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
Smitley, whose son is the child’s biological father, hadn’t seen Trenton in months but previously called CYS when he showed up at her house with an injury.
“He had a black eye due to a so-called bike accident – 2-foot of snow,” Smitley said.
She said her grandson wanted to be a pilot and bought toy airplanes to put in his casket. Now, she’s leaning on friends for support.
“That baby was loveable,” Diane Leppard, a family friend, said. “I don’t know why anybody could hurt him.”
Smitley said the family is taking comfort in knowing Trent is in a place where he can no longer be hurt.