When Las Vegas police first interviewed the mother who reported her 3-year-old son missing, she denied abusing the boy’s 2-year-old brother.
But Cassie Smith’s hands told a different story, according to her arrest report.
Smith is left-handed, and the 2-year-old had numerous injuries on his right side. That would fit with “the mechanics of naturally” hitting someone if Smith’s left hand were her dominant one, according to the report, which was obtained Thursday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The timing of the interview is not clear. Smith reported Daniel Theriot missing on Sunday at Sunset Park, and the child’s body was found the next day in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
While Smith denied that she had hurt Daniel’s younger brother, she told officers that her boyfriend, Joshua Oxford, would hurt the boy when she was not around, and that she saw him pull on the boy’s ear and pinch him. She denied that any abuse came from her, according to the report.
Both Oxford and Smith are facing murder charges in Daniel’s death.
Police believe Daniel was killed at least 12 hours before he was reported missing. An autopsy indicated “ongoing abuse” from both Smith and Oxford, a prosecutor has said.
While Daniel was missing, a Child Protective Services investigator went to the couple’s home, a routine step in missing child investigations, according to Smith’s arrest report. The investigator noticed “numerous marks and bruises on his face and ears,” and took the boy to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center for a welfare exam, the report said.
Doctors at the hospital said the younger boy’s injuries were not accidental. He had multiple scratches, bruises and fingernail marks on both legs, as well as broken blood vessels around both eyes and on his forehead. He also had marks and bruises on both ears.
Oxford pleaded guilty in 2013 to child neglect or endangerment and was sentenced to three years of probation, court records show. According to his arrest report from 2013, his 4-year-old son left Oxford’s home and was wandering into the middle of Charleston Boulevard while Oxford was “inside of the apartment completely unresponsive” due to drugs.
Both Smith and Oxford were arrested Monday. They remained in the Clark County Detention Center without bail Thursday. They both face first-degree murder charges and charges of child abuse or neglect.