A Chicago grandmother is demanding answers after her 2-year-old granddaughter was beaten to death in central Illinois, and after the suspect in the case was freed on bond.
At just 2 years old, Cali Marie was just learning how to walk and learning about potty training, but she was killed in a vicious beating, according to prosecutors.
“To be able to do something like this to a baby, you have to be some type of monster- a demon,” Danielle Madlock, the girl's grandmother, said.
Cali was beaten so severely that she ended up in a coma for 30 days, according to Madlock. She died on Sept. 11 at a Danville hospital.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Cali lived in Danville with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, identified as 29-year-old Dantrail Johnson. He’s now charged with aggravated battery of a child and bodily harm.
“It was just a tragedy from the beginning,” Madlock said. “He beat her unconscious. He broke her ribs, lacerated her liver, lacerated her pancreas, he punctured her lungs, he disconnected her spinal cord, he broke her wrist.”
Madlock also says that prosecutors set Johnson's bond at $40,000, and he has since paid the required 10% to be released from prison pending his trial. His bond was later raised, and a new arrest warrant was issued after he missed a court date, but he remains at-large Wednesday.
“The bond was $40,000 and he posted $4,000 and he was out of jail,” she said. “There should be a manhunt – they should be looking for him. He is a baby killer.”
Cali’s mother was also charged with child endangerment and neglect in connection with the case.
Caleb Sago is Cali’s father, and said he'd tried previously to get custody of the girl.
“We tried plenty of times to get my daughter,” said Sago. “She had just stopped responding.”
NBC-5 called the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s office to see if charges would be upgraded, and prosecutors declined our request for comment.
Cali will be laid to rest Thursday in a white dress her grandma picked out. Her funeral will be held at St. John Baptist Temple Church in Chicago.
“She likes Cocomelon, so we picked that for her program,” she said.