JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - The WWE has issued a statement after a toddler died from injuries during wrestling with her mother's boyfriend. Richard Gamache Jr., 24, now faces a charge of abuse or neglect of a child resulting a death. The girl's mother, Cheyenne Cook, 19, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Police say she knew about the abuse.
Addie Cook, 2, was suffering from a seizure when EMS arrived at her home on May 16th in the House Springs area. Authorities found a child with obvious signs of trauma during the visit.
Police say Gamache performed wrestling moves including a "Batista Bomb" prior to the injuries. She died at the hospital a few days later.
Gamache initially denied abusing the little girl. He eventually said the child may have suffered from a head injury from a wrestling move. The move included striking her head on a concrete wall near his bed.
The story has gone national. The “Batista Bomb”, was a move used by retired WWE wrestler and movie star Dave Bautista. It is where the attacker flips the victim up onto their shoulders and viciously slams them to the floor.
The WWE has responded with this statement, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic death and hope that the guilty parties are brought to justice. There is no excuse or justification for the brutal and ultimately fatal beating of a 2-year-old child by a grown man. This is a clear case of criminal intent and a lack of parental supervision.”
Police say Addie's mother did not stop the abuse because she was afraid of losing custody of her child or endangering her relationship with Gamache. Gamache and Cook lived together for only about six days before the child was taken to the hospital.
Gamanche's text messages discovered by detectives to the victim’s mother include a photo of bruising on Addie's face and forehead on May 13. The messages says he caused the bruises by “playing too rough” with her, according to the documents.