BRAHAM, Minn. (KMSP) - A 24-year-old mother accused of killing her two-month-old son made her first court appearance Friday in Isanti County.
Shy Ann Hentges of Cambridge, Minnesota is charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree manslaughter in the death of her son, Eli.
Eli Arispe-Hentges died on April 5, 2017. According to the criminal complaint, Hentges gave several conflicting interviews to investigators describing the morning of his death in their apartment in Braham. She was giving him a feeding at 2 a.m. when she says she knocked his head on a door frame and threw him into his Pack-and-Play.
Hours later, he was found blue, cold to the touch and not breathing.
An autopsy conducted by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office revealed an 11-centimeter facial fracture, possible asphyxia due to unsafe sleeping conditions and bruises as well as two healing left-side rib fractures.
Investigators working the case say it has been emotionally taxing for all parties involved. Both of Eli’s parents were unemployed and homeless when he was born and both struggle with drug abuse.
Hentges is awaiting sentencing for a separate drug charge later this month.
The complaint alleges at one point during her son’s short life, she texted her sister second-guessing her decision in "keeping this kid" and her lack of sleep.
“In a tragedy like this, [it’s] so, so preventable when you consider the resources available," Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edlad said. "When you consider the family members, the friends, the acquaintances, when you consider Minnesota has the safe harbor for newborns, when you consider the resources available for newborn and family services, there are so many resources available for people to reach out to."
Without being able to bring him back, investigators and Eli’s father, Dillon Arispe, are hoping they can give him the one thing he deserves.
“Just justice for Eli,” Arispe said. “And then he goes to rest.”