Aunt speaks out about Milton-Freewater infant's death - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Aunt speaks out about Milton-Freewater infant's death

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MILTON-FREEWATER, WA.-- This week, it was announced that 16-year-old Milton-Freewater resident, Evan Freel, is facing charges of murder by abuse and first-degree criminal mistreatment against his own, five-month-old son, Dominic. Monday, Dominic's aunt, Allicia Stapleton spoke out about the tragic death of her infant nephew after telling us that there had already been some misinformation given about his case. Dominic, Allicia told us first, was the perfect baby, loved by all, especially his mother, and her sister, Abby Smart. No one was hit harder by his death than she was. 

"In my gut, I was sick to my stomach," Allicia told KNDU, "I just had that feeling. But I walked in there and Abby was alone in the hospital room and the nurses were in there... But she was alone and she just screamed. She was like, 'Sissy my baby's gone,' and she's holding him  and she was just, like, screaming...she was like 'My baby! What happened, what happened?'"

Allicia also gave us an account of how the tragic event unfolded. 

"Abby had just started working... The first day went really well, she called me when she got off work and told me... how she thought Evan did pretty good with Dominic that day... She said it went great, she came home and [Evan] was giving [Dominic] a bath and Dominic seemed fine. The next day we got a phone call from a friend in Walla Walla who was like oh my gosh I think that Abby's address is on the scanner right now and it says there's a five month old baby not breathing."

 Allicia phoned Abby to get to the hospital right away. She then immediately drove there herself and walked in only to find her sister screaming, holding her infant baby in her arms, dead. 

After speaking to nurses, family found no closure in what had happened. Everyone at the hospital was sympathetic, but no autopsy had been performed and none of the nurses or doctors gave the family a concrete answer on how Dominic had died. This raised some red flags. 

Reluctantly, Abby left the hospital with Allicia. The two were together when, the very next morning, they received a phone call from Evan's grandmother, Barbara Freel.

"[Abby] hadn't heard from Evan, she hadn't heard from anybody. And [Evan's grandmother] goes, well, Evan killed Dominic, and he feels really bad about it. So we just need to figure out where to go from here."

Abby and Allicia have not heard from Evan or his grandmother since, nor do they want to. Now the family is simply working to try and help Abby heal. They are also in the process of raising money in order to give Dominic a proper funeral. 

Evan Freel's first court date is scheduled for July 8th. His bail is set at $5,000,000.