Authorities: Suspect in baby’s death bit off child’s nipples

Slyvester Knighten and Danesha Cannamore.

FLORISSANT, Mo. – A Florissant mother and her boyfriend were charged Thursday in connection with the death of the woman’s 8-month-old son.

According to authorities, the boyfriend beat the woman’s children for months, ultimately killing the baby boy. Police said the mother did not beat her children but failed to protect them.

Danesha Cannamore, 31, was charged with two counts of child endangerment. Slyvester Knighten, also 31, was charged with multiple counts of child abuse.

Prosecutors allege Knighten had been physically abusing Cannamore’s 8-month-old son and her three daughters—ages 10, 6, and 3—for months at their home in the Stonebury Apartments off of Dunn Road.

The abuse turned deadly Tuesday evening.

Police said Knighten dropped the baby boy from a great distance and also punched the child as he was in his crib.

Police received a call Wednesday around 11 a.m. after the baby was found unresponsive.

It’s believed Knighten and Cannamore kept the abuse hidden.

Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan could not bring himself to go into details about the child’s physical injuries.

“This (boy) endured some things that no human should have to do, especially someone who is 8 months old. There could be no more innocent of a person than an 8-month-old child,” he said. “To see the things that were done to him is really difficult to deal with. I just don’t see value in outlining specific injuries but it goes without saying they were substantial and they were pretty terrible.”

Chief Fagan said Cannamore’s three daughters were in safe custody through the state’s Division of Family Services.

Knighten’s bond was set at $1 million; Cannamore’s bond was $500,000.

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