Three-year-old boy who was found dead was allegedly forced to live in filth and sleep with roaches by his own mother
Cassie Smith, 20, and her 40-year-old boyfriend, Josh Oxford, were arrested on September 3 after the body of Smith's son, Daniel Theriot, was found in a park
A cousin of the mother from Las Vegas, who was charged after the body of her three-year-old son was found in a park on September 3, has come forward with some horrifying revelations on the family. The woman was allegedly terrible at taking care of her two children, making them live in "filth" and sleep on beds infested with roaches. Crystal Kahles, said in an interview, that her cousin, Cassie Smith, "Just wasn’t deserving of those kids".
Smith and her 40-year-old boyfriend, Josh Oxford, were arrested on September 3 after the body of Smith's son, Daniel Theriot, was found in the park a day after Smith reported the child as missing. Kahles said: "They were so full of love and energy and laughter. And they were just innocent little babies. Daniel, he didn’t deserve this. He deserved a mother who was going to protect him."
According to PEOPLE, both Smith and Oxford are each facing one count of child abuse. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Ray Spencer told reporters, on the same day that the toddler's body was found, that he was not going to reveal any details on how the child died but did reveal that "there was nothing accidental about it".
#LasVegas please HELP US LOCATE #missing 3-year-old Daniel Theriot, last seen this morning at around 8:45 AM at Sunset Park in the 2601 E. Sunset Rd, wearing a red t-shirt with Lighting McQueen log and black/red plaid pants.— LVMPD (@LVMPD) September 2, 2018
Anyone with info please call 702-828-3111. pic.twitter.com/E9aHlhDUU4
Spencer said the mother had informed the police that she had gone to Sunset Park with the toddler and was on a call when the child suddenly disappeared. There were no other witnesses that could confirm, however, that Smith and her son had been at the park together.
Kahles also told KVVU that before her cousin moved to Las Vegas last month to live with Oxford, she had stayed with her aunt, Kahles mother, in Texas and looked after her. It was during this time that Kahles said she started worrying for the safety of her mother and her two nephews.
She said: "Every time I would come to town to visit my mom, I would just have to deep clean that house and tell [Smith], ‘Hey, you need to clean the boys after they eat. You have roaches in this house, they can’t live like this'. There’s roaches living in their beds, there’s roaches in her bed. It was absolute filth and disgusting." Kahles also said that she did not think her cousin abused her sons but believes Smith neglected them.
The toddler's biological father lives in Texas and he told the news station that he had found out about his son's death on September 3. He also said that he had been planning to visit the toddler later this month. Spencer said that the police believe the child may have been dead atleast 12 hours before he was reported missing by his mother. He added that the parents have a criminal history but that child welfare workers have never investigated them before.
Spencer said: "Having children is stressful. Having toddlers is stressful. Having babies is stressful. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot care for your child, you can take your child to a fire station, you can take your child to a hospital, but this is absolutely — this is hard to deal with."