Update: Bond Set For Child Abuse Suspect

By: John Chapman, Brittany Gunter, Mike McKnight, Brian Mastre Email
By: John Chapman, Brittany Gunter, Mike McKnight, Brian Mastre Email
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Bond was set Wednesday at 10 percent of $500,000 for Ryan Mullen, charged with child abuse resulting in the death of an 8-month-old boy.

Mullen turned himself in and was booked at the Douglas County Jail after a month-long investigation by Omaha police. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 30th.


Ryan Mullen

Payton Birtwell died at the Nebraska Medical Center. His mother, Chelsea Birtwell, took him to Immanuel Hospital and Medical Center on October 18th, saying that he had fallen out of his stroller.

Payton's father, Ricky Whitesell, spoke to WOWT 6 News on Tuesday. He said Chelsea told him the same thing, but he didn’t believe it. “Apparently he fell out and hit his head on the concrete, but the doctors said they had a case where a baby fell out of a second story window and there was less damage done to that baby then there was to Payton.”

Payton had a brain bleed and was taken off of life support a few days later. “The most painful thing was to look in his eyes and see there’s nothing there. Just, pain like no other,” said Whitesell.

County Attorney Don Kleine also said the stories surrounding the death didn’t add up.

Whitesell said he will remember his son as "a happy baby, he loved everything, he loved Curious George.” He hopes this brings awareness about child abuse. “Everyone needs to know what he did and something like that doesn’t need to happen to any other kid. People need to open their eyes."


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