Mother charged with homicide after 4-year-old son set on fire

MILWAUKEE, WI - Prosecutors allege a Milwaukee woman killed her 4-year-old son by setting him on fire in a bathtub in their apartment.

Amelia DiStasio, 23, was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide. Her child's body was found in their home last week.

"The majority of the victim's body was burned," a criminal complaint explains. 

According to the complaint, authorities were called about smoke at DiStasio's south side apartment Thursday morning and found her son Antonio's burned and lifeless body in the bathtub.  

His hands had been bound behind his back with several belts, and a plastic garbage bag was over his head. An open bottle of cooking oil was in the bathroom.

According to WTMJ, the night before the fire, the criminal complaint said a neighbor heard the child say, “Please mommy, stop! I won’t do it again!” She heard Distasio yell, “Shut up!”

"I don’t know what the world is coming to," said Latonya Peterson, who says her cousin lives in the upper unit of the home. Police responded to the lower unit.

She said she rushed over after her cousin called her to say there was a fire.

"She smelled something burning, there was smoke coming out of her vents, black smoke so she called 911 immediately," Peterson said.

The mother was not home. A witness says she saw DiStasio climb out of the apartment window and run away.

A police officer later found DiStasio walking. It's unclear if she has an attorney.

If convicted, DiStasio faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. She remains jailed with bail set at $400,000.

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