Authorities in Virginia shared the disturbing details of what they say was a 2-year-old boy’s murder at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend.
According to People, 25-year-old McKenzie Kyle Hellman contacted emergency personnel on Friday to advise that Stephen Meek II had fallen and lost consciousness.
When Christiansburg police officer arrived, however, they found evidence of widespread abuse. The boy died two days after his injuries were first reported.
Chief Mark Sisson was reportedly emotional as he delivered a news conference offering updates in the case.
A forensic examination revealed the young boy died as a result of blunt force trauma to his head, noting the injuries were inconsistent with a fall as described by Hellman.
Instead, Sisson said both Hellman and the victim’s mother, 25-year-old Kayla Nicole Thomas, had sexually abused the boy prior to the male suspect allegedly murdering Meek.
Hellman and Thomas have both been arrested. The former is expected to face criminal charges including murder, aggravated sexual battery, possession of child pornography, and inanimate sexual penetration while the latter is accused of production of child pornography and forcible sodomy.
They were both held at Western Virginia Regional Jail without bond as of the latest updates as both await a court hearing set for February 28.
Evidence of the alleged sexual crimes reportedly came from a cache of electronics and other items police discovered during the search of the home.
Investigators further believe there is another victim of their abuse who had not been named publicly as of the latest reports available.
Sisson emphasized that children are “cherished” and seen as “individuals without voices” in the community.
“It is our job to be their voice,” he said.
[Featured image: Stephen Meek II, Christiansburg Police Department]