First Degree Felony Charges added for Bonita Baby Sitter

June 25, 2018


On May 15, 2018, at approximately 12:15 pm, Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call for medical assistance that originated from a residence on Palm Bay Court in Bonita Springs.

Immediately after LCSO arrival, Lee County EMS arrived on scene and transported an unresponsive five-month-old male to North Collier Hospital.

The baby was in the care of a babysitter, Maria Antonio Jose (DOB 01-13-1994), at the time of the incident.  The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit was called to investigate.

The baby was transferred to Golisano’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Myers where doctors determined that the baby had a severe type of traumatic brain injury which was not consistent with choking.

The child remained in a vegetative state and was not expected to recover.  On June 8, 2018, the child was withdrawn from treatment and placed in hospice care.

Based upon the information gathered during the investigation, while working closely with the State Attorney’s Office, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Maria Antonio Jose and charged her with Aggravated Child Abuse.

On June 19, 2018, the now-six-month-old child succumbed to his injuries.

The State Attorney’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit has added the charges of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child and Aggravated Child Abuse (Malicious Punishment), both first degree felonies.

“Our children are a most precious gift,” stated Undersheriff Carmine Marceno.  “The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will use every resource available to investigate and bring to justice anyone responsible for harming the most innocent in our society.”

Antonio Jose