KENOSHA, Wis. – A Wisconsin man is charged with homicide in the March death of a toddler at an unlicensed day care.
Hunter Jones, 23, of Kenosha, is accused of killing 2-year-old Matthew Bolinski while he was staying at Jones' home.
"I still pretend like he's sleeping in the other room," Katherine Bolinski, Matthew's mother, told WITI. "Now it's just like an ongoing nightmare of waking up and there are moments where I just wish he could be with me still."
Inside Bolinski's apartment, the bedroom is filled with toys: a fire truck, toy trains and dinosaurs, all arranged next to an urn containing her son's ashes.
"I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. We were together every day. Went to the park, went swimming," Bolinski said.
On March 27, the single mother dropped Matthew off with Jones and his wife at their unlicensed day care so she could go to work. The couple said they were carring for at least 12 other children in the days leading up to Matthew's death.
"That day I dropped him off, he threw a fit like no other fit and I obviously regret having to do that now because of the outcome, but that's my last memory of him alive," said Bolinski.
The next time Bolinski would see her little boy was at the coroner's office.
"His eyes went from a deep blue to really, really light blue. Bruises all over his face. I lost it. I just couldn't hold it back," Katherine Bolinski said, adding that she waited to speak publicly about her son until last week when prosecutors charged Jones.
Court filings say the boy's body had a number of injuries to his head and neck, which weren't there earlier in the day.
"I'm confused. I'm hurt. I'm angry," Bolinski said. "That was my life. My son was my life. My life didn't start until I had my son and now I feel like I don't even know what's going on. How this is even happening and how this is even my reality?"
Jones is due back in court Friday morning, July 12 for a preliminary hearing.
Bolinski said it's hard to get herself in the courtroom, but says that she'll be there.