Teen accused of fatally beating toddler while babysitting him

Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 17:14:52-04

MARILLA, N.Y. — A teenager is accused of fatally beating a toddler while he was babysitting him last Friday.

Ethan Bigham, 2, was in his trailer park in Marilla, N,Y. when he was attacked, The Buffalo News reported. The babysitter was watching Ethan while the toddler’s mother and boyfriend were at work. Bigham’s siblings were at school at the time.

“Ethan’s entire face was mutilated, he was beaten so badly. His back is black and blue. We’re told he was not only punched but some type of blunt object was used,” a family friend told The Buffalo News after the attack.

Bigham was taken off life support a few days later and his organs were donated for transplant to other children, according to The Buffalo News. An autopsy had been scheduled for Monday.

The babysitter, identified as Devon Vanderewege, 17, was initially charged with first-degree assault, but could face additional charges, according to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

The charges include manslaughter and second-degree murder. He is being held without bail.

Vanderewege was an acquaintance of the mother’s boyfriend, The Buffalo News reported. The boyfriend had asked him to babysit, Bigham.