Joplin, Mo -- (11/22/17) UPDATE: Lenard Valdez has now been charged by the Jasper County Prosecutor's Office with 2nd Degree Murder.
Joplin, Mo. -- (11/15/2017) An autopsy was conducted Wednesday morning at Frontier Forensics in Kansas City to further investigate the death of a 3-year-old boy. The boy, who was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in critical condition, died on Sunday. Lenard Valdez, 21, of Joplin is still in custody on the initial Child Abuse Charge with an updated bond of $150,000 cash after the 3-year-old was pronounced dead. The results of the autopsy are pending.
Friday afternoon, the Joplin Police Department received a call to Freeman Hospital for a 3-year- old boy brought in with serious injuries. Shortly thereafter, the child was transported to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. Detectives went to Kansas City to continue the investigation. As a result, the Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant for the arrest of Valdez for Child Abuse. He was later taken into custody at a hotel in Kansas City by Kansas City Police. Valdez is currently being held at a jail there.
(Edited Media Release)