Authorities in Camden County, New Jersey revealed the alleged motive behind the death of 17-month-old Axel Reynolds. The boy’s mother Heather Reynolds, 41, suffocated him with a cleansing wipe over his nose and mouth because she believed he was hindering an affair she was having, said Assistant Prosecutor Peter Gallagher said in court, according to NJ.com.
The defendant is charged with murder and child endangerment for her son’s death. The defendant’s lawyer Michael Testa Sr. said in court that she denied causing her son’s death on May 10, 2018.
“A review of the text messages between the defendant and her boyfriend from the previous night reveal that the defendant was becoming frustrated by the boyfriend’s apparent lack of interest,” Gallagher said. “And witnesses also told detectives that the defendant had expressed the sentiment that her toddler son, the victim A.R., was an obstacle to her relationship with her boyfriend.”
Prosecutors were able to get her held without bond before her trial. Investigators found isopropyl alcohol and acetone in the boy’s body, and determined this came from the wipe used to end his life. His mother allegedly changed her first story that she last fed him around 6 p.m., and that he might have consumed something poisonous. That’s because an EMT told her that her child definitely had been dead for much longer than that, authorities said.
According to reports, when a responding EMT said the baby’s death seemed suspicious, Reynolds, not having been accused of doing anything wrong, interjected, “It’s not suspicious. I didn’t do anything wrong.” Witnesses also reportedly told authorities that the defendant used meth the night before into the morning.
The defense lawyer Reynolds “suffered greatly” from her son’s death, and he mentioned that her husband, Joseph Reynolds, passed away Nov. 5.
Camden County authorities announced charges on June 13. Axel would have turned 2 last December.
[Screengrab via CBS Philly]