Within the past year 22-month-old Ethan Thompson and his four brothers were reunited by the Florida Department of Children and Frwith their family after being placed into protective custody.
Montez McNeal was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse in connection with the death of 22-month-old Ethan Thompson, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
At approximately 11:40 p.m. on Monday, deputies responded to an unresponsive child at a residence in the 3300 block of Fourth Street East in Bradenton. Ethan Thompson was transported to a hospital, where he died.
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An investigation by detectives determined that the child was physically abused by McNeal, 25 and the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, and that injuries from the abuse contributed to the death. The mother has not been charged.
Five other children – ages 6 months to 12 years – living at the residence are now in protective custody.
Ethan was pronounced dead at the hospital after going into distress while at home. The investigation is ongoing. At the time of the incident, there was an open investigation and active service case as the children were recently reunited. Because there was a prior verified report within 12 months of the death, a CIRRT team will be deployed to conduct a review.