HOLLY, Mich. (June 16, 2014) – A father whose infant son was murdered last month says it could have been prevented if only the warning signs hadn’t been ignored.
It’s a grief only a parent can understand. Vic Burm’s son Carson, seven months old, died from shaken baby syndrome and head trauma on May 30.
“I cry a lot,” Burm said. “I get really emotional, and I try not to, and the only thing that helps me not is to look and still see the image of his face.”
Police arrested Steven Eric Shaw and charged him with baby Carson’s murder. Shaw was the live-in boyfriend of Carson’s mother, Laura Kidney. Police said the incident happened inside Kidney’s apartment in Coldwater.
“I am more shocked than anything,” Burm said.
Burm, who lives in Holly, said Carson and his sister stayed with him every other weekend. He said he never suspected Shaw would harm them.
Following Carson’s death, Burm said, he learned during a custody hearing regarding Carson’s older sister that child protective services had contacted Kidney to warn her about Shaw’s past. A worker testified during that hearing that she told Kidney that Shaw shouldn’t have contact with her and Burm’s children due to the fact that Shaw lost custody of his own kids. It was a warning that the worker said Kidney ignored.
“What is wrong with you?” Burm said. “I mean, why, why wouldn’t you listen to somebody that’s…that deals with kids all the time and knows his background and is trying to warn you? Why wouldn’t you listen?”
There were other signs of possible abuse in which Kidney wasn’t made aware. According to court documents, Carson was taken to the hospital two weeks before he was killed after Kidney found him bleeding from the ears.
Doctors, according to the records, diagnosed Carson with an ear infection. However, a doctor at a different hospital stated this was an indication of head trauma that should’ve been looked into further by a medical professional.
“This whole situation could’ve been prevented,” Burm said. “It’s sickening that it could’ve been. A little more effort could’ve been put into and this could’ve been prevented.”
It’s a message that Burm said he hopes other parents will listen to.
“It’s hard to kind of grasp that if you’re loved one could actually do this, but give it a chance…actually listen to someone that’s trying to warn you about it and just think about it,” Burm said. “It’s better safe than sorry.”
Burm said the thought that Carson’s death could’ve possibly been prevented makes it difficult for him to get out of bed. Still, he said there’s one thing that keeps him going.
“He’s (Carson) up there and he’s looking down and he’s making sure everything’s OK,” Burm said. “He’s not suffering anymore.”
Kidney was not charged in the incident. Shaw, who is undergoing a mental exam to see if he’s competent to stand trial, is expected back in court in July.