Couple charged in toddler's death after 'wrestling moves'

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A woman and her boyfriend have been arrested and charged with the murder of her 2-year-old daughter.

Police told KTVI the boyfriend performed "wrestling moves" on the toddler and the mother tried to cover up the abuse.

On May 19, 2-year-old Addie Cook died at Children's Hospital.

"It's terrible. I just couldn't understand how somebody could do that to a 30-pound baby. I mean it looked like she got run over, that's how bad she looked," the child's maternal relative Jim Boyce said.

Addie's mother 19-year-old Cheyenne Cook is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and Cook's boyfriend, 24-year-old Richard Gamache, is charged with abuse and neglect of a child. According to Jefferson County Sheriff's Captain Gary Higginbotham on May 16, crews responded to a call of a child having seizure.

"Deputies weren't on the scene very long and noticed obvious signs of abuse that lead to a child abuse investigation," Sheriff Higginbotham said.

Higginbotham says Gamache admitted to detectives that he performed numerous wrestling moves - including a body slam - on Addie.

Cook was working at the time, but detectives found text messages between Gamache and Cook talking about the abuse that was taking place and how to conceal it.

"It is pretty obvious, pretty serious. There were photographs taken along with apologies and there was talk about how we can cover up the bruising," Higginbotham said.

Cook's stepfather Jim Boyce says that day Addie was airlifted to Children's Hospital.

"They removed part of her skull to relieve pressure off of her. I didn't get to see her until four in the morning and it looked like she was in a bar fight from head to toe," Boyce said.

Boyce says Addie loved playing with her big brother.

"They kind of fight and they both have little crocodiles they fight over and I loved them dearly," Boyce said.

He says Cook and Addie lived with him and his wife until six days prior to the incident, when she moved in with Gamache and his parents.

"It was my job to protect them and I kind of failed," Boyce said.