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Florida mom from reality show ’55 and pregnant’ arrested after 6 yr old son beat his 13 day old sister to death

August 14, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Florida mom from reality show ’55 and pregnant’ arrested after 6 yr old son beat his 13 day old sister to death

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A Florida woman who once appeared on the reality show “I’m Pregnant and…55 Years Old” appeared in court on Friday for manslaughter charges.

The Daily Mail reported that 62-year-old Kathleen Marie Steele was taken into custody on Thursday on neglect and aggravated manslaughter charges after her six-year-old son beat her 13-day-old daughter to death while they were left in a hot vehicle for about 40 minutes.

The judge set bail at $100,000, which she posted on Friday night. However, Steele is not permitted to have contact with anyone under the age of 18, ABC Action News reported.

Steele has two other sons, ages 3- and 6-years-old.

Robert Love, Steele’s attorney, claims that the woman is devastated.

Her newborn child, who was also named Kathleen, was in good health on Monday morning when she took her infant daughter to see a pediatrician and brought her sons along as well.

As the family left the doctor’s office, Frankie, Steele’s oldest son, dropped his mother’s phone and shattered the screen. Steele then drove to a repair store in St. Petersburg to get the screen fixed.

Instead of bringing her children into the shop, she decided to turn the ignition off, roll up the windows, and then left them inside the hot car alone for nearly 40 minutes.

While Steele was getting her phone repaired, her newborn began to cry and, according to Sheriff Bob Gualtiari, Frankie took the baby of her car seat and began striking her to make her stop. When law enforcement officials questioned the boy, he quickly confessed that he had hurt his sister.

The sheriff remembered the boy saying, “I took the baby, and I slammed her like this, and slammed her down, and pushed her up into the ceiling.”

He continued, “What he was talking about when he pushed her up into the ceiling, he was holding her up; then he said he was flipping her this way and flipping her that way, and she would fall. The way he was describing it is he was tossing that baby around like a ragdoll … The best way I can describe it is, he pummeled her.”

According to Gualtiari, the child was so severely beaten that she likely she died in the vehicle.

“I’m telling you, this baby’s face was a mess. There was no mistaking the condition that this 13-day-old infant was in,” he added.

When Steele returned to her car, her son said that his sister was in critical condition, but she ignored him and continued running errands at an Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

After close to a half hour, the family came home, and that’s when Steele asked one of her neighbor’s, who is a nurse, for help.

The nurse instantly recognized that the infant was dead, and proceeded to call 911. The baby girl was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Gualtiari believes that the newborn was dead for hours before her mother noticed something was wrong.

An autopsy revealed that little Kathleen suffered from severe head trauma and multiple skull fractures.

Because of Frankie’s age, he will not be charged for his sister’s passing. His school district verified to reporters that he would not be returning to his elementary school.

Back in 2010, Steele and her husband starred on the reality show “I’m Pregnant and…55 Years Old,” when they were pregnant with their first child. On the TV show, Steele talked about how she had tried and failed to get pregnant for many years and suffered from a number of miscarriages.

She stated on the reality show: “I was going to try no matter what. We had been trying too long and lost many. You’re sort of in denial.”

She continued, “I’m not a quitter. I don’t like to fail. I tend to be an overachiever and a perfectionist.”

Steele’s husband passed away a year later from cancer, but she was still able to conceive a son three years later, along with her daughter, with her late husband’s frozen sperm.

Gualtiari denounced the practice, saying it’s troubling “that some supposed medical professional agrees to impregnate a 62-year-old woman with her dead husband’s sperm – and she gives birth to a baby that, by all accounts, she’s unable to adequately care for.”

He also noted that the woman told authorities that she plans on having more children with leftover frozen sperm.

The family’s neighbors told reporters that her 6-year-old son was not excited for another sibling. Just days before the woman gave birth, an accidental fire was set in their home, although it’s not clear how the fire was started.

The sheriff’s office Child Protection Investigation Division was even investigating Steele for an episode that occurred just three days after she gave birth to baby Kathleen.

Steele allegedly dropped her baby from a car seat down a flight of stairs while they were staying at a hotel. However, authorities ruled the incident an accident.

Sheriff Gualtiari avoided questions that they could have done more to protect the children.

“By numerous witness accounts, Kathleen Steele was an inattentive parent, and [her sons] were largely unsupervised and had very serious behavioral issues,” Gualtiari stated. “She was here Monday night and being interviewed. For one hour into the interview, she never even asked what the kids’ status was.”

The Department of Children and Families currently has custody of Steele’s two sons.

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