A coroner has released the cause of death for a 4-year-old boy who was found dead in a garage freezer of a home.
On Wednesday, the Clark County Office of the Medical Examiner determined that Mason Dominguez died from blunt force injuries after he was found in the home 10 miles north-east of the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The pre-schooler was found on February 22 after his mother gave Mason’s sister a note to slip to school teachers, saying that the mum was being held against her will and feared her son was dead.
The note led to police searching the family home and discovering the child’s remains in the freezer, “hidden under a false cardboard bottom and under multiple items of food”.
The mother’s boyfriend, Brandon Toseland, 35, faces multiple charges, including murder, child abuse, neglect or endangerment resulting in substantial bodily harm, kidnapping of a minor resulting in substantial bodily harm and domestic violence by strangulation.
The woman told police that her boyfriend locked her son in the master bedroom of their home after the boy had fallen ill in early December.
Mr Toseland eventually admitted to his girlfriend that her son was dead, according to the arrest report, claiming it was an accident.
Soon after his confession Mr Toesland reportedly took her mobile phone and if they ever left the home, he “would handcuff her inside the vehicle, preventing her freedom of movement”.
Investigators do not consider the woman to be involved in her son’s death, but homicide Lietnenat Ray Spencer said: “there are a lot of questions that we still have to answer about what occurred over the last three months.”
A neighbour of Toseland said the family appeared normal to him, and he was shocked to hear about the sad news.
“On February 22, 2022, My family had discovered our sweet Mason was murdered by people who, he thought he could trust,” his relatives posted on a GoFundMe for his burial costs.
According to the fundraiser, Mason’s father died from pneumonia last year at 29 years old and the family planned on buying the burial plot next to his dad.
Paternal relatives described Mason as “happy, sweet, intelligent, very outgoing.”