Sanford man faces child abuse charges in death of girlfriend's 3-year-old
Posted March 28
Sanford, N.C. — A Sanford man is facing child abuse charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend's three-year-old son who was found unresponsive Thursday.
According to authorities, officers responded to 105 Gordon St. at about 8 p.m. Thursday to assist emergency personnel with an unresponsive child who was in the care of 28-year-old Michael Anthony Amatucci. The child was immediately taken to Central Carolina Hospital.
Hannah Willett said she left her son Braylon at the couple's apartment with Amatucci while she went to work. She said the two were close.
"Braylon loved him," she said. "Braylon called him dad for probably the past five months because his dad didn't have much to do with him."
Willett said she and Amatucci had been together for about a year.
"That's the one person I trusted with my child," she said.
Further investigation revealed the child has suffered injuries to his head and body, and he was taken by medical helicopter to UNC Hospitals.
The child succumbed to his injuries Monday morning.
"Just really know who you leave your kids with because it could be someone that you really trust, " Willett said. "I mean people are very manipulating, and they can have you thinking they are one type of person and they are not. No innocent child should deserve anything like this."
According to Willett, Amatucci has two kids of his own.
Amatucci was charged with felony child abuse inflicting serious physical injury. He is currently being held in the Lee County Jail under a $500,000 bond.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.