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Amari Nicholson

Amari Nicholson: Sources say there were ‘warning signs,’ CPS closed case before young boy’s murder

A Nevada boy is dead and family members are saying it could have been prevented if social services didn’t prematurely close its case.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, 2-year-old Amari Nicholson’s body was found at a complex close to the Emerald Suites in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The child was staying with his mother’s boyfriend, Terrell Rhodes, at Emerald Suites when he vanished on May 6.

Rhodes is currently being behind bars for allegedly murdering the boy. Amari’s mother, Tayler Nicholson, was in Colorado at the time, helping her family.

Rhodes initially told authorities that a woman knocked on his door at 6 a.m. on May 6 and said she was the sister of Amari’s father and was there to take the boy with her.

Nicholson said she admitted she told Rhodes that “someone would be stopping by” after the couple got into an argument, prior to her leaving for Colorado. Nicholson never said who would be stopping by or why, but Rhodes said he still had the message “in his head” when the woman picked up Amari.

Rhodes said he tried to call Nicholson to confirm, but she was still sleeping and didn’t answer the call.

Rhodes eventually confessed to killing the child, according to police.

Last year, Child Protective Services reportedly closed a case involving Amari, after an initial investigation. Amari’s maternal grandmother, Carrie Howard, told KLAS-TV that the child would likely still be alive if the case hadn’t been closed.

Howard added that she had been worried about the boy’s safety ever since her daughter began dating Rhodes last year. Prior to their relationship, Rhodes spent time in prison for robbery and battery to commit robbery and was released in 2018.

Investigators determined that Rhodes “hit the child numerous times, causing his death,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Tim Fattig said during a bail hearing for the defendant on Wednesday morning.

Authorities later found soiled children’s clothing and blood in the apartment Rhodes shared with Tayler Nicholson and Amari at Emerald Suites.

According to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Rhodes told authorities where to find Amari’s body after confessing to killing him, but “that proved to be false, so we’re still following up.”

Authorities later located Amari’s body at 400 block of East Twain Avenue, the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed. He was found less than a mile away from the Emerald Suites.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Nicholson posted on Facebook Tuesday night that she “never knew anything” about what happened to her son or what Rhodes did to him. The Facebook post has since been deleted.

“He did this he never said anything to me about his involvement,” the Facebook post continued. “I trusted him and he betrayed me. He took my whole world from me. My son comes first before anybody!!”

Rhodes remains behind bars without bail. He’s expected to face additional charges after grabbing an officer’s gun during the arrest process. Authorities said the incident was quickly de-escalated.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Amari Nicholson/Handout]