West Allis boy's stabbing death: Woman in custody, police say

A woman was taken into custody in connection to the death of a 6-year-old boy in West Allis on Monday.

The woman, in her 30s, has not been charged with a crime, but jail records show she was booked on charges of neglect of a child causing death and bail jumping. West Allis police said they're not looking for additional suspects.

As West Allis police officers worked late into the night Monday, knocking on doors and asking neighbors if they'd seen or heard anything involving the home near 73rd and Lapham and the people that lived there, the boy was taken to the hospital where he later died.

"I remember seeing the ambulance and the cops pull up," said John Zychowicz, who lives in the area.

Zychowicz, a father of five, lives up the street and said his kids would play with two older boys who lived at the home – but said he rarely saw the 6-year-old.

"The kids seemed real polite and respectful. The other one, the youngest one, I’ve never met. I’ve seen him one time at the Fourth of July parade," Zychowicz said. "Other than that I’ve never seen the kid."

The 6-year-old was identified by the medical examiner as Hank Brown-Rockow. An autopsy was completed Wednesday, but details were not released. Records described the boy's injury as a stab wound.

"There’s a lot of kids on the block," said Zychowicz. "A lot of the families are pretty disturbed by it."

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Neighbors said it's not uncommon for kids who live up and down the stretch of 73rd Street to play with each other and ride bikes, but the events Monday rattled them. 

"Asked if I knew anything about what was going on over there or see anything and nothing that I was aware of," said resident Cathy Kelnhofer.

Police investigate in West Allis after child death

Brian Brinkley lives four doors down and said he never saw any issues.

"It’s very disconcerting," said Brinkley. "Very much (hits close to home). When you see kids already playing here, and again, I don’t foresee anybody doing these things to kids on this block. I hope it was an accident.

"That’s a gut punch. That’s a hard gut punch for this area.

The boy's family declined to speak with FOX6 News or did not return messages.

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The boy's death came mere days into the start of the school year. In a statement, The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District said:

"We are aware of the incident impacting our West Allis-West Milwaukee community this week regarding the tragic loss of a local 6-year-old.

"Our district immediately assigned additional school counselors, psychologists, and social workers to the Jefferson school community to support students and staff."

Also on Wednesday, the state's Department of Safety and Permeance notified that the department will be reviewing the case and what led to the child's death, as required by state law.


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