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Cottrell Short

- February 11, 2012

How is it that a child who was seen by a doctor and found to be perfectly healthy and happy, dies the very next month of Sepsis, which is a bacterial infection of the blood as well as having sedatives in his system and a skull fracture, bruises, injuries to his feet and broken bones in his arm and leg? Shacara Foster, who was the 27 year old mother of Cottrell Short and Kentae Todd, her 20 year old live in boyfriend would end up being charged with in this death.

Living in a duplex in Minnesota, were 17 people, including children, ranging in age from two to 19 years old. Among those children were Cottrell Short and his little sister, who both slept in cribs located in the basement of the home which was also where Kentae slept. It was reported that since 2008, Police had been called to the home at least 35 times for incidents ranging from disorderly conduct to medical reasons.

On February 10, 2012, Cottrell stopped breathing and was taken to the hospital. Sadly, he died the next day. A Medical Examiner in Hennepin County ruled that the death of Cottrell was a homicide. At first, there were no arrests made as a result of the ruling, though Shacara was held and charged with neglect which violated a probation order which stemmed from a robbery conviction.

Kentae told police that he had been smoking Marijuana on February 10th and that he called Shacara to tell her that Cottrell had a temperature of over 102 degrees. It took more than one call to get her to come home and when she finally did, Cottrell had stopped breathing. Though people said that Shacara would leave her children with anyone who was there in order to get away from them, Shacara tried to blame her sons condition on one of Kentae's brothers, who was three years old, pushing him down the stairs.

Hennepin County Sheriff, Rich Stanek said legal steps had begun against Shacara in the case of her daughter. Luckily the daughter had no signs of any physical abuse, though he said Cottrell had died a horrible death. Police were told by some of the other children in the home that they had not seen Cottrell for a few days before he died because he was in the basement with Kentae. Apparently, Shacara had been gone for about a week before being called back because her son was sick. When he died, Cottrell had a serious burn on his hand which Kentae told police he got when he touched a hot bowl of Ramon Noodles, which was part of what was kept in the basement for food. On his feet, Police found some cigarette burns:

"As a parent, words fail me at this time. I wonder how one little boy survived so much abuse. He
must have been very brave, brave beyond his years"
Sheriff Rich Stanek

Police said that the people in the home were living with garbage strewn all over, rotting food and dead animals as well as live animals and animal waste. Kentae told police that he had disciplined Cottrell by "popping" him on his hand and his leg, but only one time. Cottrell's biological father lived in the area though no information had been released about him, early in the investigation. A man who lived near by said that his children had played with the children from the duplex and he never suspected any kind of abuse was taking place:

"It just makes me sick. They all looked healthy. Cottrell seemed to always be happy"
Aaron Newsom

Another neighbor said the children had never caused any trouble when they were outside playing:

"What I saw of them seemed fine. But I guess behind closed doors, you never know"
Tim Hicks

Shacara Foster and Kentae Todd were charged with second degree murder for the death of Cottrell. A charge of neglect was also filed against Kentae. Police Chief Paul Falls said that this case was one of the most horrific cases he had seen in 18 years on the Police Force.

Living in this duplex were the parents of Kentae, I wonder why it is that they never stepped in to help out. If I had not seen or heard an 18 month old child for days, I would wonder what was going on and I would check on that child. Seems more than just Shacara and Kentae need to be charged. With the conditions found in that home, we should be hearing about how the children were ALL removed and taken to safe, clean homes. I am unable to find information beyond what I have said here on this page.

UPDATE:

Today is June 15, 2014 and while searching for updates on Cottrell's case I found the following information:

In September of 2013, Kentae Todd, who was 22 years old at the time and Shacara Foster, who was 28 years old at the time, both plead guilty to second degree manslaughter. Kentae Todd was sentenced to more than 11 but less than 12 years in prison. Shacara Foster was sentenced to more than seven but less than eight years in prison.


Death occurred in the state of Minnesota

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