‘This man is a monster’: Man accused of strangling, suffocating 5-year-old son

Robert James Baldwin
Caption
Robert James Baldwin

Credit: Vincennes Police Department

Credit: Vincennes Police Department

A 5-year-old Indiana boy died Thursday morning from injuries that he suffered at the hands of his father, police said.

Knox County 911 dispatchers received a call around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday about an unresponsive child at a home in Vincennes. The caller told dispatchers, “I killed my son,” authorities said.

Vincennes police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers went to the home, where they found the boy unresponsive, according to Vincennes police. They began CPR and took the boy to Good Samaritan Hospital, from which he was airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

The child, whose name has not been made public, died there around 2 a.m. Thursday.

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The boy’s father, Robert James Baldwin, was taken into custody Tuesday at the family’s home and questioned before he was charged with attempted murder. Baldwin, 53, is being held in the Knox County Jail on bail of $1 million.

Vincennes police Chief Dusty Luking told WTHI-TV in Terre Haute that Baldwin strangled and suffocated the boy.

"He is not remorseful for what he did," Luking told the news station. "That's my opinion, but this man is a monster."

The chief choked up as he talked about the “heart-wrenching” scene that emergency responders found at the home.

“To think about what that child must have gone through is heartbreaking,” the chief said. “At this point, there’s no reason to believe anything happened other than he intentionally planned out and killed his son.”

A neighbor who babysat the boy told WTHI-TV that he was a sweet, smart child.

“He was very sweet, very well-mannered, very smart. He was so so sweet," Diane Dunagan told the station.

The attempted murder charge against Baldwin is expected to be upgraded to murder now that his son has died.