JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – A couple face charges after a 2-year-old Missouri girl died days after authorities say her mother's boyfriend performed “wrestling moves” on the toddler.
Police accuse the girl’s mother, 19-year-old Cheyenne Cook, and 24-year-old Richard Gamache Jr., of torturing the child, identified only as “AC.”
On May 16, police and EMS responded to the 3800 block of Dorchester Court in House Springs, located about 30 miles southwest of St. Louis. A child having seizures at the residence was taken to the hospital, where she died several days later.
Authorities found that the child had obvious signs of trauma during the visit to her home. They later discovered that Gamache performed wrestling moves including a “Batista Bomb” prior to the injuries that led to her death, according to KTVI. Wrestlers using the "Batista Bomb" flip their opponents up onto their shoulders before slamming them back-first to the ground.
Investigators also reported finding digital evidence of abuse exchanged between Richard Gamache Jr. and Cheyenne Cook. They say the communications reveal the two tried to hide signs of the physical mistreatment.
“This child was essentially tortured,” said Sheriff Marshak in a statement. “Our prayers are with 'AC' and the investigators that were intimately involved with this investigation.”
Police say that Gamache abused the child over time. Her mother was allegedly complacent and did not intervene or seek medical help.
Richard Gamache is charged with abuse or neglect of a child and has a $500,000 cash only bond. Cheyenne Cook, 19, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She has a $2,500 cash-only bond.