Man bound over for trial in Two Rivers toddler death

Photo: Manitowoc County Jail

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A man charged in the death of Two Rivers boy has been bound over for trial.

David Heiden, 28, appeared in Manitowoc County Court Wednesday. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial.

Heiden is charged five counts, including Physical Abuse of a Child Causing Death, in the April 26 death of Gilbert Grant.

Police were called to 2110 E. River St for a report of a two-year-old boy who was not conscious and not breathing. Crews arrived to find the boy with no pulse and cool to the touch. He was pronounced dead. Gilbert had large bruises on his forehead, cheeks, face, legs, buttocks, back feet and arms.

Police arrested the boy's mother, Rena L. Santiago. They also arrested Santiago's roommates, Bianca Bush and David Heiden.

During a police interview, Heiden detailed months of abuse inflicted on Grant by the three defendants.

Heiden said on the day of the child's death, he had grabbed Gilbert and "shoved him forcefully into the metal futon frame." Heiden said the boy's lower stomach would have been pushed against the frame at the time. Heiden said he "forcefully held him [Gilbert] there" and hit the boy with his hand and a flip flop.

Heiden said Bush and Santiago came home and found Gilbert dead. Heiden said he flushed a bag of marijuana "dabs" down the toilet and Bush flushed bong water and hid the bong.

Heiden admitted to treating the boy "poorly." When asked why, he responded, "he's not my kid ... I didn't care," according to a criminal complaint.

An autopsy was completed by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office. Gilbert's cause of death was determined to be from contusions; internal bleeding, a hemorrhage in the bowel; extensive lacerations; and hemorrhage around the head of the pancreas.

Investigators also found signs of older injuries to the abdominal area and small bowel.

Heiden's arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 24.

Rena Santiago, who was due to give birth on May 13, has an initial appearance scheduled for May 20. She's also charged with Physical Abuse of a Child Causing Death.

Bianca Bush has an initial appearance scheduled for May 20. She's charged with multiple counts of Child Abuse.

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