Bonita Springs infant in ‘vegetative state’ after babysitter allegedly abused him

A five-month-old baby is in poor condition after police say his babysitter abused him.

24-year-old Maria Antonio-Jose was watching the baby in Bonita Springs Saturday while his mother was at work. The encounter would end at the hospital, where the baby was hurt so badly, doctors say he’s not likely to survive.

Neighbors say the community is kid-friendly. So when they heard of one of their residents was facing an aggravated child abuse charge, they couldn’t believe it.

“Honestly I don’t even know what to say. that’s just so impacting. To be living in front of that and something just so tragic happened, I don’t even know how to process it honestly,” said neighbor Marcos Gonzalez.

Another neighbor says she heard Antonio-Jose screaming for help, saying the baby was choking on milk. That neighbor adds that she started CPR and called 911 as the baby gasped for air.

“I mean that’s awful, that’s really awful,” Gonzalez said.

The baby was eventually taken to Golisano Children’s Hospital after doctors learned he had a serious brain injury and is now in a vegetative state.

According to the police report, the injuries were consistent with severe child abuse, and it did not appear they were sustained from the baby choking.

The Florida Department of Children and Families say they’ve opened a child protection investigation regarding the incident. They’d had no prior involvement with the baby or Antonio-Jose, they add.

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