Dad charged in beating death of 3-year-old son

DAMASCUS, Md. (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County police have charged a father with first-degree murder and child abuse for the death of his three-year-old son.

Brian O'Callaghan, NSA chief of the Korea division, is being held without bail for the death of his adopted son Hyunsu O'Callaghan, who died on February 3.

On February 2, Hyunsu was unresponsive at Children's National Medical Center with multiple injuries. Police spoke with medical personnel at the hospital, who said the boy's injuries included trauma to the brain indicating that he was recently beaten.

An autopsy determined that the manner of death was homicide by multiple blunt impact injuries. Hyunsu had a skull fracture with bleeding on the front and back of his brain, according to charging documents. Doctors also found multiple contusions on the boy's body and evidence of trauma on his scrotum.

Police say Brian O' Callaghan could not provide any explanation for the boy's injuries.

During the investigation, detectives interviewed Brian O' Callaghan, who said that he had complete care and custody of Hyunsu from January 31 through February 1.

According to charging documents, Hyunsu was adopted from Korea and had been in the U.S. since October 2013. Brian told police that Hyunsu bonded with his wife Jennifer but that he had not bonded with him.

On January 31, while Jennifer was out of town, Brian said that Hyunsu slipped while in the shower, falling backwards and hitting his shoulder in the bathtub. Brian told police that he consoled Hyunsu and the boy went to bed, according to charging documents.

The morning of February 1, Brian says he took Hyunsu to breakfast, to the park and to a local fast food restaurant for lunch. Brian told police that he put Hyunsu down for a nap at 2 p.m. that day. Brian says he went to check on Hyunsu around 4 p.m. and noticed a pinkish fluid/stain on the bedding and mucus coming from his nose. While Brian changed the sheets and cleaned the boy's nose, police say Hyunsu did not wake up.

Brian told police that around 5 p.m., he checked on Hyunsu again and saw a large amount of mucus coming from his nose. When Brian picked him up, Hyunsu began to projectile vomit. According to charging documents, Brian told police that he took off Hyunsu's clothes and washed him off before texting his wife, who told him to take the boy to the emergency room.

Police say Brian O'Callaghan drove Hyunsu to the Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center at Germantown on February 1. The boy was then transported to the Children's National Medical Center.

Doctors determined that Hyunsu was in critical condition and were concerned that he could be brain dead. Hyunsu had brain trauma and hemorrhaging in the eyes. He died on February 3.

Brian has a biological son, Aiden, who he was with on February 1.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.


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