Police and firefighters who responded to a 911 call after a 5-year-old boy was found unresponsive needed counseling after his witnessing the boy’s injuries as well as those of his 6-year-old brother.
Major Mark Hoffman, who has served on the Middletown Division of Police for 18 years, said that this case of child abuse was the “worst he has seen in his career.” After the child who was initially found unresponsive passed away just after 8 am on Friday morning, charges against two of the women arrested for assaulting the boy and his brother became far more serious.
Officers responded to a 911 call from a friend of the boys’ mother named Rachael Bostian.
Middletown police received a 911 call around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from a woman who identified herself as Rachael Bostian. She told the dispatcher that a 5-year-old boy was unresponsive in room 130 at the Parkway Inn on North Verity Parkway.
Paramedics arrived and started CPR, then police discovered another child, a 6-year-old boy, was in a bed, covered by blankets.
The women, Teresa Hawkins-Stephens, who is the mother of the two boys, as well as her friend, Rachael Bostian, and Rachael’s mother, Ramona, were arrested and charged with “two counts of felony child endangering and two counts of felonious assault.” The women explained that they had been staying in a tent after coming to Middletown, Ohio, looking for work. The 5-year-old, they claimed, had wandered away from the tent and was assaulted by some other boys.
Rachael Bostian said that the three women did not understand the gravity of the injuries the child had sustained from that assault when they took the children to a motel after receiving assistance to pay for a room for the three adult women and two children.
Police did not believe the story, and the injuries sustained by the 6-year-old older brother of the unresponsive child would certainly indicate that the 5-year-old was not alone in having been attacked. Police allege that the two boys were wrapped in sheets and beaten over a 22-hour period as punishment for taking food.
Both Hawkins-Stephens and the younger Bostian are now charged with murder. Ramona Bostians charges remain the same. A preliminary hearing for all three women is scheduled for May 6.
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