A woman arrested for the death of a 6-year-old boy was previously found guilty of felony child neglect after a girl in her care suffered fractures and was subjected to extreme discipline.
Josie Dikeman, 31, of Onalaska, was taken into custody Friday, May 19, for first-degree intentional homicide after an investigation into the death of 6-year-old Alexavier J. Pedrin, who was reported deceased Feb. 11, 2023, in the town of Medary. A decade ago, she was charged with neglect of another child who had no relation to Alexavier.
In 2013, Dikeman and her then-boyfriend Dustin Barnes were convicted of felony child neglect after a social worker reported Barnes’s 3-year-old daughter had lost weight and hair since returning to their home from foster care. A doctor found old and new fractures in the child’s hands and feet that were consistent with being hit with a blunt object.
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The child told investigators she had been hit by Dikeman and Barnes, and family members told police the 3-year-old was only allowed three drinks a day so she would not wet her pants and was often barricaded in her room with toys out of reach. The child was also forced to stand for timeouts lasting up to 90 minutes and made to sit on the toilet for up to 45 minutes with her hands in the air.
When the same child was younger than 2 years old, she was treated for a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury at Gundersen Health System, which staff reported to police. Dikeman told investigators at the time that the girl fell down the stairs, as the child gate was broken and she couldn’t afford to fix it.
In fall 2013, Dikeman was given three years’ probation by former La Crosse County Judge Dale Passel and was ordered to one year of electronic monitoring, enrollment in drug treatment court and no contact with the victim or Barnes.
Dikeman’s initial court appearance for the homicide of Alexavier Pedrin will be held 1:30 p.m. Monday. She is currently being held in La Crosse County Jail with no bond.