MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Cody Feran-Baum, 17, has been arrested after police say he stomped his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter to death.
A neighbor said Feran-Baum ran to their house with Sophia O’Neill in his arms asking to use their phone. The neighbor said Sophia’s head “just bounced back and forth” and her eyes were unfocused. Sophia was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was resuscitated twice before dying.
The medical examiner would find that Sophia died from multiple injuries, including a torn liver, kidney and pancreas, cuts to the inside of her stomach, a collapsed lung and eight broken ribs.
Sophia’s mother told police that her boyfriend of about a year, Feran-Baum, had watched Sophia the day before and that when she returned home she found Sophia had a fever and complained of pain whenever she was picked up or touched. Unaware her daughter was suffering from multiple organ failure, she thought she was just sick and put her in bed for the night.
When Feran-Baum was interviewed and presented with evidence that someone had beat the ever-living shit out of Sophia, the teen came clean and admitted he was responsible. He said he became enraged when he could not get Sophia to stop crying.
He said he put her in timeout, fed her and put her down for a nap, but “she kept screaming and screaming.” He said he then put Sophia in a corner and kicked her in the back. When police asked the teen how hard he kicked Sophia, Feran-Baum said, “It was, it was bad.”
An hour later, Sophia was still crying. That’s when he says he “snapped on her” before laying her face down on the floor and stomping on her back.
Feran-Naum was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. On Monday, a juvenile court judge declined to release him from detention because of the seriousness of the crime. County Attorney Mike Freeman said his office will seek to have Feran-Baum tried as an adult.
What makes Sophia’s death so tragic is that Child Protective Services have been notified about potential abuse by Sophia’s biological father. Earlier this year, he showed Hennepin County Child Protection Services video of Sophia with bruises on her cheek and her saying they were the result of Feran-Baum punching her in the face. The year before, Sophia was taken to a temporary shelter because of unsafe living conditions.