Mother of deceased Warren boy speaks to WKBN

Three-year-old Russell Cottrill died Monday at a Cleveland hospital after rescue crews were called to the boy's home. Police are investigating the child's death and have charged his step-father, Arthur Harper, with child endangering.
Russell Cottrill

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Judith Owens, mother of 3-year-old Russell Cottrill who died at a Cleveland hospital Monday, agreed to talk to WKBN about her son and her boyfriend Thursday.

Owens’ live-in-boyfriend, 43-year-old Arthur Harper, is facing charges in relation to the death. He is currently in the Trumbull County Jail on a child endangering charge, and police say more charges could be pending, depending on a coroner’s report to determine the cause of death.

Owens said she was “stunned” by the allegations that Harper had something to do with the child’s death. “I couldn’t have asked for a better man,” Owens said. “He [Harper] did everything with him; went to Family Dollar; went to the park; went outside; he did everything.”

“I’m not doing good. I don’t sleep. I barely eat,” she said.

She said she hopes now that friends and family can mourn the loss of her son, who she described as a “bundle of joy.” She said he was a big Dallas Cowboys fan; he hated the Pittsburgh Steelers. He loved trains, Curious George and Cat in the Hat.

Owens said the loss is especially hard for her, as she lost another son a few years ago to a heart condition.

She said Russell’s death will mean life for three other children, however, as he is an organ donor.

“I can honestly say that my son’s life is going to mean something,” she said.

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