Both 20-year-old Cassie Smith and 40-year-old Joshua Oxford have been taken into police custody only one day after reporting their three-year-old son missing.
Upon reporting their son missing, authorities immediately launched a widespread search for the youngster. Multiple agencies responded to the call for help including Las Vegas Metro Police, Clark County Park Police, Child Protective Services, Red Rock Search and Rescue, the National Park Service and the FBI Child Abduction and Rapid Deployment team.
Less than 24 hours later, police discovered the body of Daniel Theriot deliberately hidden in a remote section of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Cassie Smith, the boy’s mother, had claimed she was talking on her cellphone when her son wondered away in Sunset Park. Investigators interrogated witnesses, but no one had seen the mother and son at the park that day.
The investigation into the boy’s death is still ongoing, so police have withheld some details. They have confirmed, however, that they have significant reason to believe the boy’s death was not accidental. Additionally, initial autopsy reports suggest the youngster had been deceased for an incredible 12 hours before he was ever reported missing.
The mother and father of the child have both been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation. Both suspects potentially face child abuse and murder charges. The couple also has a two-year-old child who has been temporarily placed in the care of Child Protective Services. Investigators determined that both children displayed signs of physical abuse, and a nearby neighbor reported seeing the family leaving the morning Daniel disappeared but the boy wasn’t with them.