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Las Vegas boy who died after he was found in tub had many injuries

Updated August 3, 2018 - 11:40 pm

A 4-year-old boy who died earlier this week suffered injuries all over his body, including broken ribs, bruises, abrasions, burns and possible rat bites, an arrest report said.

Crystal Stephens, the 42-year-old woman watching over the boy and his 5-year-old sibling, told police that she found him unresponsive in a southeast Las Vegas apartment bathtub early Monday, a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report said.

She called 911 about 5:20 a.m. and reported he had nearly drowned in the apartment complex on the 300 block of East Silverado Ranch Boulevard.

“Stephens claimed she never lost sight of the victim and remained in the room with him but then she found him limp and unconscious,” according to the report.

But when the boy arrived at St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, the doctor treating him immediately notified officers that the boy’s injuries were the result of abuse, the report said.

He had suffered multiple broken ribs, bruises and abrasions “over the entirety of his body,” malnutrition, burns and possible rat bites, the report said.

The boy’s injuries were so severe that he would not have regained full functionality if he survived, the doctor said.

“(The doctor) advised there was no physical or medical evidence that the victim had suffered a drowning incident, however, the victim had suffered an event of not breathing effectively with poor cardiac functioning for an extended period of time,” the report said.

Prosecutors charged Stephens with five counts of child abuse or neglect with substantial bodily harm.

The child died Tuesday, Metro spokesman Larry Hadfield said, and Stephens faces a murder charge.

She told police that she was not the boy’s parent but had been caring for him and his sibling for the past two weeks, the report said. She said that she was a friend of the boy’s parents and that his mother was living in an unspecified shelter.

The arrest report said that medical professionals had been requested to conduct a sexual assault examination of the boy.

A Clark County Division of Family Services document indicates the agency had received multiple reports of possible neglect about the boy or his family. Four of the five reports of neglect failed to prompt an agency investigation, and Child Protective Services investigated a September 2016 neglect allegation and ruled it unfounded, the report said.

Stephens asked for an attorney when investigators attempted to interview her, the report said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17, court records show.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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