2-year-old's mother, roommates arrested in toddler's death in Two Rivers

TWO RIVERS -- The mother of a 2-year-old child and her roommates were arrested for allegedly repeatedly abusing the child -- causing his death.

According to WLUK, Rena Santiago, Bianca Bush, and David Heiden each appeared in court Monday, April 29 on requested charges of physical abuse of a child -- recklessly causing bodily harm, neglecting a child -- causing bodily harm, and other counts.

Formal charges had not been filed as of Monday.

Bond was set at $100,000 cash for each. All were ordered to return to court May 6 for a formal initial appearance.

According to WLUK, officers responded Friday, April 26 to an apartment on East River Street in Two Rivers, where Gilbert Grant II was not breathing. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, ,according to a probable cause document.

“The victim had several large bruises on his forehead, cheeks, side of his face, both legs, buttocks, back, feet and arms,” the report said.

WLUK reported Rena Santiago, the child’s mother, “admitted that over the past eight months, the victim has been hit by (Santiago) and her two roommates. (Santiago) admitted that she and the other roommates have hit the victim with their open hands, with a shoe, and with a belt repeatedly over the last several months. (Santiago) said she witnessed all of the physical discipline and approved of it.”

She also admitted to smoking marijuana in the apartment, and engaging in prostitution -- both with the child in the apartment at the time.

Santiago said Bush and Heiden also inflicted injuries with a belt and shoe.

Bush said “she did not cause any of the injuries to the victim and only slaps him on the hand with an open hand one or twice a week or tells the victim to go into timeout,” the document stated.

Heiden said on Friday he spanked the victim, “then picked victim up by his sides with his hands around the victim’s torso and shook the victim with force while yelling at him to go to sleep,” the document stated.