A Seminole, Oklahoma, couple was found guilty of killing their 9-year-old foster son—despite the fact that his body was never found.
The Ada News reported that James Rex Clark, 67, and Rebecca Faith Clark, 61, were convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder-child abuse and four counts of child abuse by injury, in connection with the death of Levi Colton Clark.
Investigators searched the couple’s home in March 2006, when Levi disappeared, but didn’t locate the boy’s body. The case was reopened in September 2015 after the victim’s brother, Homer (who now goes by TJ Sloan), revealed what really happened to Levi, according to KFOR.
Sloan said he remembered James and Rebecca beating Levi with a belt when a ring went missing. He recalled seeing the 9-year-old lying bloodied on the couch with his face covered in black and blue bruises. He claimed that was the last time he saw his brother.
“He’s very, very emotional right now and apologizes but he’s not able to go on camera right now,” District Attorney Paul Smith said of Sloan following Tuesday’s verdict.
The local station noted that Rebecca and James were convicted Tuesday of also abusing Sloan.
The Clarks are the victim’s aunt and uncle and were acting as foster parents for Levi and Sloan. The children were in the couple’s care as the boys’ parents battled a drug addiction, according to The Ada News.
KFOR previously reported that the defense maintained that Sloan was a liar and that six witnesses saw Levi alive within 30 days following his supposed disappearance. They also asked why Sloan waited years to go to the police.
A Pontotoc County jury has recommended life sentences for each of the six counts.
“Long-awaited verdict, long-awaited call for justice that was finally received today,” Smith concluded.
[Featured Image: Seminole County Jail]