CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. - A quick glance at Brittany Nichole Arnett's Facebook page would have you thinking she is a grieving mother.
"This little boy is my world," reads status update on Arnett's page which was posted on January 30. "He is the reason I wake up every morning. And now that God took him to be with him my heart is broken and empty. I will never be the same. I ask myself repeatedly, "Why did this happen to me? Why did it have to be my precious little boy?'"
The post goes on to ask for prayers.
Arnett's 6-month-old son Hadley was pronounced dead on January 28. Citrus County Sheriff's deputies believe the grieving mother murdered her son.
According to an arrest affidavit, Arnett, 20, admitted to investigators that her boyfriend was away from a relative's Inverness residence at 429 N. Robin Hood Road on January 27. She said she "became frustrated and angry that she was left alone with the infant," identified as Hadley Arnett.
She placed the child in his swing and admitted to slamming his face into the tray of the swing over the next few hours. She also said she grabbed the baby around the rib cage and yanked him from the swing, causing his head to move in a back-and-forth motion without support. She believed the back of his head hit the tray, according to the statement.
In a Facebook post published the day after he son was taken to a funeral home reads:
"Coming to the realization that my son isn't going to come back. I won't hear his cries...But most of all, I won't feel his grip on my arm when holding him up," the post reads.
The post goes on to say the 'funeral home is going to make Hadley beautiful.'
When the Arnett's boyfriend, who is not the boy's biological father, returned home, the child was "acting abnormal." The infant had difficulty focusing, was sensitive to touch and had blood in his mouth, according to the affidavit.
Arnett, according to authorities, said she was afraid to tell her boyfriend what happened for fear of getting into trouble.
Arnett and her boyfriend eventually took the child to Citrus Memorial Hospital. Hadley was not breathing and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
A medical examiner's autopsy revealed the baby suffered "numerous injuries" including brain hemorrhaging, a separated spine, broken ribs and lacerations.
Arnett is now charged with first-degree murder and was not able to attend a memorial service for her at Brown Funeral Home and Crematory Monday night. Family members in attendance declined to comment to ABC Action News.
Neighbors on Robin Hood Road are calling the boy's death despicable.
"It is awful," said Dayna Peterson, neighbor. "It is terrible."
Neighbors recalled seeing undercover police officers and the medical examiner at the home last week. They said they were unaware Arnett and the baby lived at the home.
An online obituary obtained by ABC Action News which was published February 1, is accompanied by a picture of Hadley being cradled in his mother's arms.
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