For 20 minutes, Ethan was made to stay in the snowbank, wearing neither boots nor a coat.
Warning: Contains details of child abuse that may be distressing to some.
The cause of death of 7-year-old Ethan Hauschultz was determined to have been "hypothermia and other blunt force injuries to the head, chest, and abdomen." However, the press statement that was released after the boy's death couldn't possibly cover the full extent of the trauma and torture that Ethan was put through during the final moments of his life.
When the unthinkable happened, Ethan was in the care of Timothy Hauschultz and his wife, Tina, who were the court-appointed guardians for him and his twin brother, according to Fox News. Also involved in Ethan's torture was the Wisconsin couple's son, who was 15 at the time of the incident. Investigations later found that Ethan was being punished for not being able to recite 13 Bible verses that Timothy had selected.
For failing to remember the verses correctly, Timothy handed down a punishment to young Ethan, which included carrying a 44-pound heavy log that was two-thirds of the boy's body weight. Timothy gave his 15-year-old son the responsibility of supervising Ethan as he fulfilled his punishment of carrying the heavy log on a set path that was covered with snow outside their home, according to FOX 11.
As Ethan struggled under the weight of the log, the 15-year-old son would hit and kick him over and over again, possibly sticking him around 100 times before rolling the heavy log over the boy's chest. When Ethan's face was shoved in a puddle, the 15-year-old boy stood on his face and later, left him buried in a snowbank. For 20 minutes, Ethan was made to stay in the snowbank, wearing neither boots nor a coat. During the horrifying ordeal, Ethan's twin was also punished along with his brother.
"Over the course of 1–1.5 hours, the 15-year-old hit, kicked, struck, and poked Ethan numerous times. He repeatedly shoved Ethan to the ground and rolled the heavy log across Ethan’s chest..." said the release that included details from the sheriff's office's investigation, according to Herald Times Reporter. "Timothy and Tina eventually transported Ethan to the hospital where he was pronounced dead."
Ethan's mother, Andrea Everett, told WLUK TV, "When I got there Ethan did not have a heartbeat and his temperature was 23 degrees. They worked on him for five hours, giving him CPR the entire time, and still couldn't get a heartbeat. There was no brain activity," as quoted by Newsweek.
On April 20, 2018, young Ethan was pronounced dead at around 9:22 pm, reported Herald Times Reporter. The sheriff's office said in the release, "Ethan was unresponsive, had an extremely low body temperature, and had multiple bruises and injuries on his body. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office noted that Ethan died following strenuous physical punishment outdoors and prolonged environmental exposure while covered/buried in snow. His cause of death was hypothermia and other blunt force injuries to the head, chest, and abdomen."
The devastated mother said at the time, as quoted by Newsweek. "I want justice for my son, and the person responsible should go to jail for a very long time."
It unclear what relations Ethan had to Timothy and Tina but, sadly, the very couple who was appointed to be the boy's guardians failed not just to protect him but also were the reason for his death.
Following the gut-wrenching incident, the 15-year-old son was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, according to Fox News. As for his father, Timothy, the charges of felony murder and felony contributing to the delinquency of a child were placed on him. The father and son also had additional charges placed on them whereas Tina was charged with failing to prevent bodily harm and intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a child.