SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNN) - A South Bend father has been arrested and charged with beating his 10-year-old son to death.
"It's absolutely one of the most horrendous crimes that I've seen," said St. Joseph County's Metro Homicide Unit Lt. Tim Corbett.
"I don't know what to say, at all," said neighbor Sonsaray Jenkins. "I think the death of a child is always a shock."
This neighborhood along the 1100 block of West Washington Street is stunned.
"I don't see nobody that angry to do that to their kids," said neighbor Dreamer Davis. "How do you beat a child to death? How do you do that."
But police say 35-year-old Terry Sturgis Sr, did just that to his 10-year old son, Tramelle. He beat him to death. Investigators say Sturgis also beat his 14-year old son, who's now being treated for multiple injuries.
"Seeing the photos, seeing the child, it's absolutely appalling," said Lt. Corbett.
Court document define the disturbing details. The 14-year old told investigators his father used a club or a stick, along with his hands. He said his father used duct tape to restrain them during part of the violence. The brother and Tramelle were beaten until Tramelle collapsed and lost consciousness. He said his brother never woke up.
"Be glad you don't have to see what we see," said Lt. Corbett. "The injuries were extremely obvious."
Police collected evidence from the home all morning. Investigators found strips of duct tape in a garbage can, a bloody towel, a mop and a bucket.
Court documents say the 14-year-old was forced to clean up the mess made in the attack on his brother.
At first, Terry Sturgis didn't admit to beating his sons, but eventually, documents show he confessed to hitting both boys with a club and a belt.
"There is no excuse for it, if this was a third-world county and this happened, this father that did this would already be dead, there is no doubt in my mind, it's that bad," said Lt. Corbett.
Neighbors are taken back.
"I knew the little boy, I walked with him to the bus stop in the morning," said Jenkins.
How could this have happened, why did it happen and how do they explain to their children that their classmate is gone?
"It's tragedy, tragic, I really hate that it happened to him," said Jenkins.
Police say nine kids, ranging in age from four to 17, lived inside the house. They've been put in the care of the St. Joe County Family Violence Unit.
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