Teen Charged After Allegedly Squeezing Toddler to Death: Police

A teen was arrested on Friday and charged with the killing of a toddler, who authorities believe was squeezed to death.

Kyrell Morgan, 19, of Allegheny Township, Pennsylvania, was taken into custody and charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, the Allegheny County Police Department reported. His arrest came a day after Stowe County Police Department officers, responding to a call about an unresponsive toddler, found 2-year-old Brielle Swinton not breathing.

EMS responders attempted to resuscitate Swinton before she was taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital for treatment. Despite the efforts of hospital staff, she was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival.

An official cause of death for Swinton has not been released by authorities. The Allegheny County Police Department did, however, announce that the county medical examiner had ruled the death a homicide. According to the criminal complaint filed against Morgan, authorities believe that he squeezed Swinton excessively, causing lacerations to her liver and resulting in her death.

pa teen murder of toddler
A Pennsylvania teen, Kyrell Morgan, has been charged with the death of a toddler after allegedly squeezing her severely. Above, a representational image of police conducting an arrest. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The autopsy cited by the complaint also noted that Swinton appeared to have been squeezed from behind. The toddler would have most likely died slowly after the injury was inflicted. As such, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner estimated that she was injured 12 to 16 hours prior to her death, according to the Tribune-Review.

"On December 31, 2021 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Morgan was taken into custody without incident," the department explained in a Twitter thread. "Morgan is currently lodged in the Allegheny County Jail.

"Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477); callers can remain anonymous. The department can also be reached via its social media sites."

Police reported that Morgan had been dating Swinton's mother and was left in charge of her care on Wednesday while she went to work. He left for his own shift at a local gas station at around 2 p.m. Police ultimately found him hiding in the crawlspace of the house of his girlfriend's father.

Morgan claimed that Swinton had been ill while he watched her, the Tribune-Review reported. The child's mother claimed that she had been acting normally when she got up for work in the morning. Another child was also left in Morgan's care that day. The child reportedly told police that he screamed and smacked Swinton every time she closed her eyes while taking a bath.

Morgan is being held without bail ahead of a preliminary hearing on January 14.