Vegas coroner rules case of boy found in freezer as homicide

July 28, 2022 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 4-year-old boy whose body was found in February in a freezer at a Las Vegas home where his mother alleges she was held captive died of blunt force injuries and his death was a homicide, authorities said.

Clark County coroner’s findings, reported Wednesday, supported earlier police accounts that the boy’s frozen body bore visible physical injuries.

The mother’s boyfriend, Brandon Lee Toseland, 36, was arrested Feb. 22 after the boy’s sister gave notes to her schoolteacher saying her mother was being held captive at Toseland’s home.

Toseland has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, kidnapping and child abuse in the death of the boy and felony domestic battery alleging that he choked the child’s mother. He is due for trial in December.

A lawyer who represented the mother alleged she was physically, sexually and emotionally abused by Toseland. The woman is not facing criminal charges in the boy’s death.

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The Associated Press is not naming the mother or children to avoid identifying a victim who alleges sexual abuse.

The woman filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against Toseland in March. He responded with a counterclaim alleging the mother was aware the boy died in December and said she would help Toseland “preserve” the body.