Foster parent charged in death of 7-week-old child

Foster parent charged in death of 7-week-old child

RANTOUL — A foster parent for an infant boy has been arrested for the child's murder.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said on Thursday she charged Patrick Kennedy, 35, of the 400 block of East Belle Avenue, with the first-degree murder of Daniel Lindholm-Wilkins, 7 weeks. Kennedy was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home.

Daniel was a foster child in the care of Kennedy and his wife and had been with them since his birth, Rietz said.

The child was taken from his biological mother at birth because of her ongoing relationship with a sexual predator, Rietz said.

Daniel died at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Wednesday afternoon, where he had been since April 17.

On that day, Kennedy called 911 about 5 p.m. saying that Daniel had been vomiting and was unresponsive.

"Paramedics responded and took the child to Carle Hospital. Doctors determined he had subdural hematomas and broken ribs," Rietz said.

She said the medical professionals determined that the injuries that caused the bleeding on the brain were not accidental and "required an adult amount of force."

"The rib fractures were also non-accidental, not caused by the administration of CPR," she said.

Kennedy had done CPR on the infant while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, getting instruction from a telecommunicator over the phone.

However, Rietz said doctors determined that the rib fractures were on the side of Daniel's body, not in the area of his chest.

She said Kennedy either shook or struck the baby to cause the injuries. His wife was not present when the baby became unresponsive.

Daniel was declared brain-dead Wednesday.

Rietz said the Kennedys had also been foster parents to the biological 2-year-old sister of Daniel and were planning to adopt her. She has been moved to another foster home, Rietz said. Doctors examined her and found she had not been injured.

Rantoul police have been investigating the injuries to the child since April 17. Police went to the home at the same time as the paramedics, Rietz said.

Rantoul Police Sgt. Justin Bouse said investigators arrested Kennedy at 3:35 p.m. Thursday at his home.

Judge Holly Clemons issued the warrant for Kennedy’s arrest Thursday afternoon. Bond on the warrant was set at $250,000. Kennedy was expected to appear in court today. If convicted, he faces 20 to 60 years in prison.

Bouse said the case remains under investigation by the Rantoul Police Department.

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