• The 3-year-old boy died on June 11
  • Joshua Manns now faces first-degree premeditated murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect with great bodily harm
  • Manns appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on July 9

A Florida toddler who was found dead in a bathtub while under the care of a babysitter was allegedly abused by the man for weeks leading up to his death, an arrest affidavit revealed.

Joshua Manns, the 25-year-old babysitter, was arrested on charges of ignoring, abusing and murdering the 3-year-old boy, Jameson Nance, while the toddler was under his care last month.

Manns made his first court appearance on July 9. The arrest affidavit released recently revealed that the child was brutalized for weeks before his mother found him dead in a bathtub at her house in West Melbourne, Florida, on June 11, Click Orlando reported.

Even though Manns claimed that the toddler drowned, an autopsy later revealed that there was no sign of drowning. The child had a broken rib, a broken tooth, damage to his esophagus and at least seven stab wounds to the head. The medical report also indicated that at least three of the stab wounds showed signs of healing.

On the day of the incident, Manns reportedly called up the child's mother saying that the boy had accidentally drowned. The toddler's mother came home to find her son dead in the bathtub and saw a note left by Manns before he fled.

Manns claimed that the boy had a seizure and went unconscious while he bathed him. He also claimed that he had tried giving CPR but "nothing worked." He wrote in the letter that he is fleeing as "no one would believe him and he did not want to spend his life in prison for something he did not do," Texas News Today reported.

A medical examiner determined that the child died several hours before Manns first made contact with the child’s mother. According to police, the child had significant signs of hemorrhaging and bruising that were in various stages of healing.

The investigation also revealed that an officer from the Department of Children and Families had earlier gone to the child's daycare to investigate “suspicious injuries” such as burns on the child's arm. The boy had reportedly complained to a care worker at his daycare about Manns hitting and burning him.

Manns was taken into custody from Georgia on June 29 and is now jailed in Brevard County. He faces charges including first-degree premeditated murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect with great bodily harm.

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