Mother charged in beating death of malnourished toddler

Mother charged in beating death of malnourished toddler

KENNER, LA (WAFB) - The Kenner Police Department is currently investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy.

On Saturday, September 30, around 8:20 p.m., officers with the Kenner Police Department responded to a call on 21st Street in reference to a 2-year-old having trouble breathing. When emergency officials arrived, the toddler, identified as Chase Thomas, was found cold to the touch and deceased. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

First responders on the scene reported seeing significant bruising on the toddler's body, and reported he appeared to be "extremely malnourished," leading investigators to believe the child had been beaten and abused. Ligature marks were also discovered on the child's left forearm, indicating the child had been bound at some point. Numerous scratches were also found on the child's back.

Detectives interviewed the child's mother, Twyana Thomas, 27, of Kenner, who reportedly stated she is the sole caregiver of the child, and when questioned about her child's bruises, reportedly admitted to hitting her son with a slipper as a means of punishment. When asked about the ligature marks, Thomas reportedly admitted to tying her son up with a cloth on several occasions, saying this would hinder his movement when he was misbehaving.

Thomas was initially arrested on the charge of cruelty to a juvenile pending the autopsy results of her son. On Monday, October 2, autopsy results came back from the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Officer, determining the cause of the child's death was blunt force trauma and abuse. Since the child's death has now been classified as a homicide, criminal charges against Thomas have been upgraded to second degree murder.

Thomas remains in custody. Bond has not been set. Thomas' other three children (ages 1, 4, and 9) were placed into protective custody with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Officials say Thomas claims she is currently pregnant.

Anyone with information in this case should contact Detective Peter Foltz at 504-712-2253 or Detective Mike Jackson at 504-712-2283.

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