Teen charged with the murders of his younger siblings


OSGOOD, Ind. (WTHR) – An Osgood teenager is charged with murdering his two younger siblings.

Last year’s unexplained death off a two year old and then months later the death of her baby brother shocked the Ripley County Community.

The arrest and possible motive for the killings has people shaking their heads in disbelief.

The suspect was 13 at the time. Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel wants to try him as an adult in criminal court.

"In my time here which has been 19 years, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite as disturbing and as final as this," said Hertel.

Court documents contain what he called "pretty terrible and awful facts."

The killings occurred last year on a quiet Osgood street, in the family’s home.

23-month-old Desiree McCartney was found unconscious and later died.

81 days later her 11-month-old brother Nathaniel Ritz was found dead.

Autopsies didn’t identify the cause of their deaths. Months later relatives pointed police at their 13-year-old brother.

They said the juvenile had mutilated a cat, acted strangely and told them he put a blanket over Nathaniel’s head and a towel over Desiree’s head.

"There were several remarks that were made to police officers about freeing the siblings from some sort of hell," the prosecutor said.

When interviewed by police, court records say he "was crying and said he had to do it" and "he didn’t want them to have to live in the hell that he did."

When a detective asked, "What was hell for him?" He replied "Chores."

"Maybe the doctors who examine him ultimately can shed some light on what’s going through his mind," said Hertel.

He wants the now 15 year old tried as an adult. If found guilty of the murders in criminal court, he would be sentenced to decades in prison. If judged guilty as a juvenile, Hertel said the teenager could be free in three years.

"I can’t predict the future," said Hertel. "But I can think if we plan future behavior on past behavior we will potentially get additional problems of great magnitude."

Because the suspect is a juvenile, Eyewitness News will not identify him by name. He has been incarcerated in a juvenile detention center since late August.

The teenager will be back in juvenile court for a judge to determine whether he will be tried as an adult and if he is mentally competent to stand trial.

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