A North Las Vegas man faces a murder charge after police said the body of his 2-month-old daughter was found in a dumpster.
The investigation started about 12:30 a.m. Sunday after the infant’s 23-year-old mother reported the baby and the baby’s father missing, North Las Vegas police said Monday in a news release. The mother had come home to the 3800 block of Craig Crossing Drive, near the intersection of Craig Road and Allen Lane, to find the couple’s older daughter, a 1-year-old, alone.
About 6:30 p.m., North Las Vegas police were notified that the father, identified as Mason Henderson, 24, had been detained by a neighboring police agency, the release said.
By 9 p.m., the investigation had led officials to a dumpster in the 4000 block of Allen, near Alexander Road, where they found the baby’s body. She was identified by the Clark County coroner’s office as Jessica Henderson.
Police allege the father is responsible for her death and that he also neglected his 1-year-old daughter, the release said. North Las Vegas police did not divulge other details about their investigation.
Henderson’s arrest report was not available Monday. He was booked at the Las Vegas City Jail on one count each of first degree murder and child endangerment, according to jail logs. He does not appear to have a criminal history in Las Vegas, according to court records.
Michael Cox, 36, who said he’s a cousin of Jessica’s mother, Jessica Gallegos, told the Review-Journal on Monday night that they are waiting for more facts from police and for the coroner’s office to determine the baby’s cause of death.
The family doesn’t want to speculate at this moment, Cox said.
Gallegos was at work when Henderson and Jessica disappeared, Cox said. A family member on Facebook said that Henderson and the baby went missing between 9 p.m. and when police were called.
The 1-year-girl is doing fine, Cox said.
“Mason loves his family, his two little girls,” Cox said, adding that Henderson is not an “angry” or “mad” person.
Cox said that the baby’s death has been difficult for the family, but that they’ve come together.
When contacted by the Review-Journal, Mason Henderson’s brother, Michael Henderson, said “I love my brother, he’s not a bad person.”
He declined further comment.
The Clark County coroner’s office will release Jessica Henderson’s cause and manner of death.
Reporter Colton Lochhead contributed to this story. Contact Kimberly De La Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @KimberlyinLV. Contact Ricardo Torres at email@example.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @rickytwrites.