More than eight months after Daniel Theriot’s mother, along with her boyfriend, was charged with murder, the Clark County coroner’s office officially ruled that the 3-year-old’s death was a homicide.
The coroner’s office on Thursday said Daniel died from blunt force trauma. His mother, 20-year-old Cassie Smith, along with 41-year-old Joshua Oxford, fabricated a story on Sept. 3 that the 3-year-old had gone missing from a children’s playground at Sunset Park, according to an arrest warrant.
Smith eventually led investigators to Daniel’s body, where she and Oxford had placed him in a “large white fiberglass shell of an apparent appliance” in a remote area near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The couple was arrested Sept. 3.
Smith later told homicide detectives she watched Oxford pour stove-heated water over her son after he smacked the boy “over and over again” on Sept. 1. The next morning, Smith discovered Daniel’s lifeless body, the report said.
Oxford told police he and Smith had twisted Daniel’s ears, pinched him and hit him with an open hand.
“Joshua was adamant this was both of their fault,” the report said.
A Sept. 4 autopsy found Daniel suffered multiple bruises, abrasions and blunt force injuries, the report said. He had several broken ribs and a subdural hemorrhage.
The two remained in the Clark County Detention Center on Thursday without bail, jail records show. They also face a charge of child abuse in a case involving Smith’s 2-year-old son.