CCSO releases autopsy results for infant’s death
Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said on April 25 that an autopsy was conducted to determine the cause and manner of death of Ezekiel Contreras, a two-month-old infant.
Slaughter said that the autopsy determined that the cause of death was blunt force injuries and the manner of death was homicide.
The Great Falls Police Department is investigating the infant’s death and the boy’s mother, Whisper Hawkbear, 20, was charged with deliberate homicide in Ezekiel’s death and assault on a minor for injuries to a 16-month-old child in the home.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this heinous crime and all those affected by this,” Slaughter said in a release.
Woman charged in death of one child, assault of another
The Great Falls Police Department responded to a welfare check at an apartment at 2215 23rd Ave. S. at 4:15 a.m. on April 21.
A welfare check had been called around 2:30 a.m. but Hawkbear told dispatchers she would go to the hospital and the call was canceled, according to court charging documents.
Officers responded to the second call, during which Hawkbear told dispatchers that she had killed her kids, and she allegedly handed Ezekiel to officers who attempted CPR on the infant, according to charging documents.
A 16-month-old child was crying in the bedroom and had blood on her face and a laceration to her nose, according to court documents.
Medical staff arrived and said she also had a burn on her left leg above the knee and a possible head injury. There was blood on the bedroom carpet, a broken mirror and blood on the bed, as well as what appeared to be drug paraphernalia in the apartment, according to charging documents.
The two-month-old was transported to the Benefis Health System emergency department where he was pronounced dead at 5:17 a.m., according to charging documents.
During the investigation, officers learned the children’s father was out of state and had called in a welfare check on April 19 stating Hawkbear had been using drugs and he was concerned about her ability to care for the children, according to court documents.
Hawkbear was taken to the GFPD for an interview during which she told investigators that she had called dispatch around 2:30 a.m. because she has PTSD and anxiety and she wanted to sleep but the children wouldn’t stop crying, according to charging documents.
The Cascade County Attorney’s Office requested that her bond be set at $500,000 with GPS monitoring prior to release.
As of April 25, Hawkbear remained in the county jail on a $500,000 bond, according to the CCSO jail roster.
For anyone in need of support, Toby’s House is a local crisis nursery providing urgent or emergency care for children ages 0-6 for a few hours, or all day, at no cost to families.
The facility is located at 421 5th St. N. and be reached at 406-770-3191 or email@example.com.