The Missouri Highway Patrol said Thursday afternoon that they are no longer looking for a suspect vehicle and a criminal investigation is now underway in the 3-year-old's death.
Jamie Ann Litton
Thomas Joseph Presley
MORGAN COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -
A toddler's mom and her boyfriend face charges after authorities said a Stover boy was beat to death.
Prosecutors filed Friday morning a second-degree murder charges against 21-year-old Thomas Joseph Presley. Later they filed charges of second-degree murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child against Blake E. Litton's mother, Jamie Ann Litton.
The couple told authorities they had stopped along Highway 135 at Buttons Road in Morgan County for a bathroom break at about 5:15 a.m. when the 3-year-old darted into the road and was hit by a car. The car fled the scene, the couple claimed.
But Missouri Highway Patrol troopers realized the couple's story did not add up, Morgan County Sheriff Jim Petty told KCTV5. No skid marks were discovered at the scene, and Blake's injuries weren't consistent with a car crash. He suffered violent trauma to his head and torso area.
Paramedics rushed Blake to Bothwell Regional Hospital in Sedalia where he later died. The boy died from severe blunt force trauma after he was beaten, Petty said.
"We have determined the child was assaulted at a home in Stover, resulting in his death," Petty said.
The home is at 105 Oak Park Lane.
The Missouri Highway Patrol initially said the accident occurred as the toddler walked from the ditch line into the lane of traffic and was struck by a vehicle, which left the scene and continued heading north.
Both Presley and Litton are being held at the Morgan County Adult Detention Center on a $100,000 cash only bond.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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