Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Charges against Joplin man may be upgraded when three-year-old's autopsy returns

An autopsy of three-year-old Jonathan Munoz-Bilbrey was held this morning at Frontier Forensics in Kansas City, according to a Joplin Police Department news release.

The autopsy results could bring about an upgrading of charges for Leonard Valdez, 21, Joplin, who is being held on a $150,000 cash only bond on a felony child abuse charge.

The Kansas City Police arrested Valdez Friday after the boy was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital with injuries that appeared to be a direct result of child abuse. Jonathan died two days later.

The probable cause statement indicates Valdez was the only person supervising the boy at the time the injuries occurred. The child received head injuries that resulted in a brain bleed, as well as bruising to the forehead and a laceration on his shoulder.

The boy died 22 days after the Joplin Police Department arrested Valdez for domestic assault at the same addres, 1502 S. Michigan Avenue, where police say the child abuse took place. The victim was the boy's mother, Natasha Michelle Bilbrey, 22, according to the JPD incident report.

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