A 14-month-old Maryland boy who went missing earlier this month was found dead in an Ohio creek Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman, said that searchers discovered the body of Cameron Beckford in Big Walnut Creek, according to the Associated Press via the Daily Mail.
The boy’s mother, 24-year-old Dainesha Stevens, is charged with endangering children and tampering with evidence and was held on $75,000 bond on each count. A judge also ordered her not to have any contact with children.
(via the Daily Mail)
On Monday, Columbus police responded to a call from a local restaurant where they spoke with Stevens, who told them that her 6-year-old daughter was missing, The Washington Post reports.
She told police that she was visiting relatives and “some friends took her daughter to another location, and she didn’t know where it was,” Sgt. Weiner said.
He said authorities further questioned Stevens and found her daughter at a home on the west side of Columbus, where the girl was reported to be in good condition and safe, according to the post. She was taken into state custody, but the girl’s brother was still nowhere to be found.
Stevens was brought in for questioning on the whereabouts of her son, who she initially said she and a male acquaintance left on the doorstep of a home because she was unable to care for him.
According to court documents, the 24-year-old mother didn’t protect her son between Dec. 21 and Dec. 23, 2014, "by allowing an individual to violently spank him numerous times on several occasions,” removing several layers of skin and causing the boy’s buttocks to bleed.
Stevens allowed the boy to be removed from the place he was assaulted "to impair the investigation of a missing/homicide investigation,” the documents said.
She made up the story about leaving Cameron on a porch and says that was her way of asking for help and “she’s trying to do the right thing,” her attorney, Mark Collins, said.
A friend with whom Stevens stayed in Columbus, Kurt Flood, is being held on an unrelated misdemeanor charge and probation violation, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Collins says Stevens is on suicide watch while police consider additional charges against her and Flood.