A Stover man has been charged in the death of a Morgan County toddler after the man allegedly staged a hit and run accident Thursday morning to cover up an earlier assault on the child, authorities said.
The investigation is continuing, officials said. The Associated Press reported Thursday night that the mother had been arrested.
According to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, a call came in around 5:10 a.m. Thursday from Thomas J. Presley, 21, of Stover, who reported that a 3-year-old boy in his custody had been struck by a car on Missouri 135 near Buttons Road. Presley reported the incident as a hit and run.
Law enforcement and medical personnel responded to the scene and found Blake Litton unresponsive. He was transported to Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia where he was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m.
Presley was further questioned by law enforcement because of inconsistencies at the scene, statements Presley made and the violent trauma to the head and torso of Litton, authorities said.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that Presley staged the hit and run to cover up an assault on the juvenile that took place at his residence at 105 Oak Park Lane in Stover.
Presley is being held at the Morgan County Jail pending formal charges of second-degree murder.
The Missouri Highway Patrol has now said the death of a three-year-old boy from Stover Thursday morning was not because of a hit-and-run accident.
Officials with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department are working on the investigation now.
Initial patrol reports, showed Blake Litton walked from the ditch line of Missouri 135 at Buttons Road into the lane of traffic and was hit by an unknown vehicle.
This occurred around 5:15 a.m.
The child was taken to Bothwell Regional Hospital in Sedalia where he died.