Natalie Steele’s son Reid Steele died at University Hospital Wales in Cardiff last Thursday after being found in a critical condition the previous day. The 31-year-old only spoke to confirm her name and address when she appeared at Cardiff magistrates’ court earlier today.
Ms Steele, of Broadlands, Bridgend, is due to appear before Cardiff Crown Court tomorrow and has been remanded into custody until then.
Det Ch Insp Matt Davies, of South Wales Police, said: “This is a harrowing case for all concerned.
“My thoughts go out to Reid’s family who continue to be supported by specially trained officers.
“Legal proceedings are now live, and whilst I appreciate there are concerns in the community, I would urge people to refrain from speculating on social media.”
Initially Ms Steel was detained under the Mental Health Act before she was later arrested and charged with his murder.
The toddler’s death has shocked the local community and comes just weeks after five-year-old Logan Williamson was also murdered.
His step-father John Cole, 39, of Sarn, Bridgend, has been charged with his murder and is due to stand trial next year.
Many locals have left flowers and teddy bears near the scene where Reid was found with critical injuries while others made tributes on social media.
One wrote: “Poor little boy. It’s so sad. He hasn’t seen any life, born to die, not fair. RIP lovely little angel.
“We all love you.”
Another said: “I have no words, truly heartbroken.
“This little one had his whole life ahead of him.
“God bless you, sweetheart, lighting a candle in your memory darling boy.”
A third posted: “Poor poor baby. I’m so, so sorry. This is not how it should have been for you.
“Rest in Peace Littleman. Fly High with the angels and have fun like you should have been having.”
Jamie Wallis – the local MP for the area – also said on Facebook that he had spoken to South Wales Police about the investigation.
He added: “The family liaison team continue to support the family at this difficult time.
“As this is now a legal proceeding, the police have asked for people to refrain from speculating about this case on social media.”