The man looked after two children while their mother worked, according to a report.
HOLMES BEACH — A man was arrested this week in the August death of a toddler, and faces charges of second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.
According to Holmes Beach Police, David Vickers, 31, called 911 from the 200 block of Peacock Lane the night of Aug. 21 to report that Luca Sholey, 17 months, was not breathing. Luca was taken to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton and later airlifted to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he was declared brain dead on Aug. 23.
Vickers told authorities that Luca was knocked down the stairs by his 3-year-old sister earlier that evening. Vickers was the stay-at-home caregiver for the children while their mother worked seven days a week at two jobs, according to reports.
Medical examination and an autopsy determined that Luca had multiple injuries, including broken ribs, consistent with abuse. The cause of death, swelling in the brain, was possibly caused by suffocation or strangulation, according to a police report.
In an interview Wednesday after being informed of his Miranda rights, Vickers said he noticed that Luca was not breathing earlier that evening, but started breathing again, according to a police report. When asked why he did not call 911 or try to help the toddler, Vickers said he handled the situation poorly and had used heroin that day.
Vickers, who was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, remains at the Manatee County Jail without bail. He has been arrested more than 20 times in Manatee County since 2005, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.