Updated February 23, 2022 - 10:35 pm
A man accused of kidnapping his girlfriend and killing her 4-year-old son remained jailed without bail Wednesday, a day after the boy’s body was found inside a freezer in a northeast Las Vegas home.
The child was Mason Dominguez, according to an online obituary posted by the boy’s family. Prosecutors identified the mother’s boyfriend as 35-year-old Brandon Toseland, who was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on two counts of kidnapping and a murder charge, jail records show.
Although authorities have not said how the boy died, prosecutor Tim Fattig said in court Wednesday that Mason had “visible injuries” when his body was found.
Police uncovered the boy’s remains in a home Tuesday morning on the 4300 block of Saddle Brook Park Drive after his sister came to school with multiple notes from their mother. The note said that the mother was being held against her will and she had not seen Mason since Dec. 11. She suspected the boy was dead.
Mason was found in a trash bag inside a garage freezer, hidden under a false cardboard bottom and multiple items of food, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.
His mother told police that Mason became ill on Dec. 11 and that she wanted to seek medical care but that Toseland, her boyfriend of 11 months, told her she could not. Toseland then allegedly took Mason into the master bedroom and barricaded the door “preventing her from entering for a considerable amount of time,” according to the report.
When Mason’s mother asked about him, Toseland told her the boy had died and that he couldn’t show her his body “because his freedom would be taken away.” The mother told police that Toseland would bind her, tie her and take her cellphone, according to the report.
“If they left the residence, he would handcuff her inside the vehicle,” the report read.
When police stopped a white Nissan leaving the home on Saddle Brook Park Drive Tuesday, a handcuff was found attached to the car where the woman had been sitting.
Held without bail
When detectives told Toseland that a search warrant would be executed of the house he began to shake and his “respirations increased,” according to the report.
The garage freezer where Mason was found was surrounded by multiple odor absorption bags, fans and an air filtration unit, police said.
The woman said Toseland told her that Mason’s death was an accident and that he found the child in bed covered in vomit and not breathing. He said he attempted CPR but could not resuscitate Mason. Police noted that Toseland did not attempt to contact police or medical personnel, according to the report.
The Clark County coroner’s office had not yet determined the boy’s cause and manner of death as of Wednesday afternoon.
Police said the child’s death was tied to Toseland’s inaction and actions in not seeking medical attention and out of “negligent maltreatment.”
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Elana Lee Graham ordered Toseland to appear in court again on the kidnapping charges on Feb. 28. Toseland is due back in court Thursday on the murder charge.
Toseland remained in the detention center on Wednesday without bail, jail records show.
Court records show Toseland was previously charged with domestic battery in 2013 and 2019, but both cases were dismissed. In the 2019 case, Toseland was required to complete community service and impulse control counseling before the case was dismissed.
Toseland had a three-year child custody battle with the mother of his two children, who are 7 and 5 years old, according to Family Court records.
The mother argued for sole legal custody of the children, but said there have been no instances of domestic violence or Child Protective Services involvement.
The court granted the parents joint custody in August.
A shocked neighborhood
The online obituary from Mason’s family said he was a sweet, intelligent boy. The family is hoping to buy the burial plot next to his father, Elijah Dominguez, who died Jan. 17, 2021, from pneumonia.
“His dad loved him so much, he made him super happy that he looked & acted just like him,” the fundraiser for Mason, which was posted overnight Tuesday, read. “When my family or I couldn’t see Mason we missed him & his sister very much but to know we won’t ever see Mason again hurts the whole family 1000x more. We had always hoped we would be able to see him again , at least once.”
The family’s home sat in a neighborhood of newer, stucco homes near North Lamb and East Lake Mead boulevards near Nellis Air Force Base. Late Wednesday morning, a Las Vegas officer in a patrol car still watched over Toseland’s home, which remained cordoned off by crime scene tape as Air Force jets cut through the sky above. A U-Haul vehicle was also parked in front of the home. An orange police sticker was observed on a front window of the residence.
Neighbors said they were stunned by the discovery of the boy’s death.
“Shock,” said neighbor Miguel Salazar, who lives about a block from Toseland’s home. “I’ve got kids and stuff, and I don’t know who lives around me. We don’t know who is around (here). Always quiet. Been here almost a year.”
A woman who lives two homes away from Toseland’s declined to give her name, but she said they never noticed anything unusual, adding “everything seemed normal” and that “we didn’t know anyone was missing.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been established for funeral costs and had raised more than $2,300 as of Wednesday afternoon.
Contact Sabrina Schnur at email@example.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter. Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Glenn Puit contributed to this report.