A jailed couple in Las Vegas, Nevada, are now facing murder charges after police reportedly discovered the body of the woman’s 3-year-old son in a remote area near Lake Mead early Monday.
Per KVVU, Daniel Theriot’s body was located outside the confines of Lake Mead National Recreation a day after his 20-year-old mother reported him missing. The mother called police at 9 a.m. Sunday and claimed the toddler wandered off as she took a phone call.
The mother, along with her 40-year-old boyfriend, were booked on child abuse charges. However, Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer said the charges are likely going to be upgraded to murder in light of Monday’s discovery.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that police believe Theriot was killed 12 hours before he was reported missing. While Spencer declined to disclose how the toddler died, he said the circumstances surrounding his death are “absolutely disturbing” and that “there was nothing accidental about it.”
Spencer said police began to scrutinize the mother’s story after parkgoers claimed they didn’t recall seeing the mother and son together. Moreover, the newspaper reported that the mother claimed she took Theriot to Sunset Park to feed the ducks even though they lived within walking distance of Lorenzi Park.
According to KNTV, Spencer revealed that Child Protective Services has taken custody of Daniel’s 2-year-old sibling and that the couple will be charged with the abuse of that child. The agency had never investigated the family but the parents do have a criminal history, he said.
“Having children is stressful. Having toddlers is stressful. Having babies is stressful,” Spencer said Monday. “If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot care for your child, you can take your child to a fire station, you can take your child to a hospital, but this is absolutely—this is hard to deal with.”
[Featured image: Daniel Theriot/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department]