A 3-year-old child was found dead earlier this week in a remote area within the Lake Mead Recreational Area.
The mother of the dead little boy is 20-year-old Cassie Smith, who was arrested alongside her boyfriend, 40-year-old Joshua Oxford. Las Vegas Metro Police claim that both individuals are suspects in the death of the innocent 3-year-old Daniel Theriot. Working with a skilled Las Vegas criminal defense attorney is crucial to be able to answer to these serious charges.
What are the Details of the Crime?
Cassie Smith reported her son, Daniel, missing from Sunset Park on Sunday morning, as per the Metro police reports. Cassie claimed that she and her child were feeding ducks, and then her cell phone rang. When she took the call, she turned her back to Daniel, at which point he “disappeared.”
However, after police searched the park, they could not find anyone who had seen ANY child that day; even more suspiciously, witnesses reported that they had not seen anyone (including the child’s mother) searching for anyone at the park until AFTER police arrived on the scene.
A Criminal Investigation is Initiated
Las Vegas Police Lt., Ray Spencer, shared that police began a criminal investigation and found an even younger child in the Smith’s home; the child showed signs of injuries and was taken to a hospital. Upon that visit, medical workers examined the young child and concluded that there were signs of physical abuse including bruises, scratches, marks on the legs, ears, forehead, and around the eyes.
When Cassie was confronted about the injuries, she told Child Protective Services and Police that the injuries were due to rug burn, however, when police said that explanation wasn’t plausible, Cassie broke down into tears and accused her boyfriend, Joshua Oxford, of hitting and pinching the child. The arrest report makes a notation that Cassie is left-handed, and the child’s injuries were on their right side (i.e. the injuries were likely inflicted by a left-handed person.)
A Tragic Ending
At this point, detectives conducted further interviews and eventually located Daniel in the remote area near Lake Mead; it is unreported what or who lead them to the area. As a result of the investigation, detectives arrested both Cassie and Joshua, who were transported to the Clark County Detention Center and booked on one count of child abuse or neglect. They would soon also be charged with the murder of 3-year-old Daniel.
Police believe Daniel was killed about 12 hours before he was reported missing. “It’s absolutely disturbing on how the child, we believe, was killed,” Lt. Ray Spencer reported. He did not provide further details.
“Having children is stressful. Having toddlers is stressful. Having babies is stressful,” Spencer said. “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.”