Mom, Boyfriend After Death of 4-Year-Old Girl Who Had Bruises and Bite Marks: ‘It’s My Fault’

A Wisconsin mom and her boyfriend have been charged after the death of her 4-year-old daughter last week, PEOPLE confirms.

The mom, Christina Collado, 21, is charged with chronic neglect of a child and is being held on a $50,000 bond, according to court records. The boyfriend, Jerome Millen, 22, is charged with physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing death, and is being held on a $250,000 bond.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, police responded to reports of an unresponsive child at the couple’s home in South Milwaukee on Friday morning. A criminal complaint reported by the outlet said the girl, named Autumn, was found with bruises on her body, a burn injury and a “human bite mark.”

Millen, according to the criminal complaint, allegedly told police: “If all the injuries caused [her] to die, it’s my fault, my fault. If she suffocated that is my responsibility and I killed that child,” according to WITI.

The man allegedly said he had covered the girl’s mouth and hit her.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. The public defender for Millen and Collado also did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s call.

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Autumn’s death was ruled a homicide by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the Associated Press.

According to the criminal complaint, Collado allegedly told police she was aware of the abuse, admitting that if she had “properly protected” Autumn, she’d “still be alive,” according to WITI.

Collado shared custody of Autumn with Kyle Horak, who is also the father of Autumn’s baby brother Greyson, according to a woman who identified herself as Horak’s mom on Facebook. She added that Horak is working to get custody of Greyson from Child Protective Services.

“I ask everyone to remember that her family that loves her from both sides of the family [and] are still learning the same information you are learning and it is extremely hard for us all. Please respect this,” the grieving grandmother wrote. “We want everyone to celebrate Autumn’s life with us now! This is about Autumn and Her baby brother Greyson who is waiting to be reunited with his dad!”

An obituary for Autumn says those close to the child referred to her as a talkative “chatter box.” The girl also loved watching PAW Patrol and was a fan of Minnie Mouse.

“She enjoyed taking trips to the zoo and days spent playing at the park. Autumn had a creative imagination and loved books and being read to,” reads the obituary. “Above all, Autumn loved spending time with her favorite and most important person, baby brother Greyson.”

A preliminary hearing for Millen and Collado is set for Mar. 11.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages. 

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