Florida Mother Accused Of Fatally Beating 4-Year-Old Boy Adopted From Haiti

A Florida woman was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy she adopted in Haiti and brought to the United States last year, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced.

Patricia Saintizaire, 36, is facing charges of murder, aggravated child abuse and tampering with a witness in the death of her son, Bryan Boyer, who died May 2 of a liver injury that hospital staff considered suspicious, according to the announcement from the sheriff’s office in central Florida.

Speaking at a news conference in Winter Haven following the arrest, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Bryan, born in Haiti, was adopted by Saintizaire last year.

A photo of Bryan Boyer released by the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Winter Haven, Florida.
A photo of Bryan Boyer released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Winter Haven, Florida.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

According to the sheriff’s announcement, Bryan’s adoptive brother came home from school that day and was told to bring him food. The brother reportedly noticed that Bryan was struggling and unable to walk or sit up on his own.

Saintizaire told Bryan’s brother that he was “faking it” and to feed him, but Bryan became unresponsive, according to the sheriff’s office. The brother attempted to revive Bryan with CPR but then told Saintizaire they needed to take him to the hospital.

When a detective went to Saintizaire’s home after the boy’s death, the mother said Bryan had complained of feeling “weak and tired” the day before he died, according to a probable cause statement obtained by HuffPost.

In the initial interview with Saintizaire, detectives reported that she repeatedly denied ever physically abusing Bryan, and the teenage brother told a detective that he never witnessed any abuse, according to the probable cause statement.

A search of the home reportedly revealed blood on the door of one of the bedrooms and on the rug in the bathroom. Detectives also reported that they observed freshly plastered holes in the wall of the bedroom.

Emergency surgery at the hospital could not stop Bryan’s abdominal bleeding, and he was pronounced dead after his condition continued to decline, the sheriff’s office announced.

Detectives said they learned from Bryan’s autopsy that he had fresh scarring on his back and that his liver had a deep laceration caused by a “targeted blunt force trauma injury,” according to the document. The medical examiner said Bryan’s injuries were consistent with ongoing abuse and ruled his death a homicide.

Bryan’s older brother was placed in protective custody. He later told detectives his mother directed him that, “when they ask you something, say nothing so I don’t get in trouble,” according to the sheriff’s announcement.

Bryan’s brother allegedly also told detectives that Saintizaire made threats against both children, including once stating, “If I had a gun you would both be dead already,” according to the probable cause statement.

The arrest document also alleged that a search of Saintizaire’s phone revealed a video clip, dated Oct. 20, 2023, that showed her striking Bryan multiple times.

The video, which was obtained by HuffPost, appears to show an unresponsive Bryan on the ground as Saintizaire continues to hit him.

Another video taken two days after and also obtained by HuffPost, appears to show Saintizaire throwing Bryan into a pool while his hands were tied behind his back.

“During the interaction the victim is seen to be in a terrified posture consistent with him trying to stop her from throwing him in,” the sheriff’s office reported in the probable cause statement.

The videos were taken at the family’s home, according to the document.

The Polk County School District issued a statement to local news station Bay News 9 addressing Bryan’s, death calling it “tragic news” for the community.

“No child should lose their life in this way,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to Bryan’s friends, loved ones, and all who knew him.”

Saintizaire is set to appear in court on June 6. A public defender listed as her attorney did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

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