◼ Humboldt County Sheriff investigating death of 4-year-old boy; Blue Lake man in custody
A Blue Lake man is in custody on suspicion of murdering 4-year-old Dylan Blount-Chambers -- the grandson of the woman he is dating, according to the boy's mother.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office arrested Leon Alyious Bigleggins, 25, after detectives served a search warrant at a house on Sabertooth Road near Titlow Hill on Sunday afternoon.
Blount-Chambers' grandmother reportedly found the child having difficulty breathing late Saturday night. Donna Ray Blount called an ambulance and the boy was transported to Mad River Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11 p.m.
The child's body had signs of ongoing abuse, the Sheriff's Office reported, with severe bruises that prompted detectives to investigate further.
Neither the Sheriff's Office nor the Coroner's Office would confirm the identity of the child, citing the ongoing investigation, but the Times-Standard spoke with the boy's mother, Tracy Blount.
Tracy Blount said her son was staying at his grandmother's house for the summer, and that she'd dropped him off on July 3, the last time she'd seen him.
”I'm still in shock,” Tracy Blount said. “I really don't know anything at this point.”
Tracy Blount said that Bigleggins was dating her mother, Donna Ray Blount, who works cleaning homes and doing yard work during the day. Bigleggins -- a beginning mixed martial arts fighter -- would watch Blount-Chambers when Donna Blount was away, something that Tracy Blount said she had no reason to be uncomfortable with.
”Dylan loved him,” Tracy Blount said. “I don't want to believe that he (Bigleggins) is involved, but they think he is.”
Tracy Blount said that Dylan is believed to have died of internal injuries, but she still hasn't been able to see him.
The Coroner's Office said that the grandmother identified the child's body. No other acquaintance or family members have been allowed to view the body at this point in the investigation, Coroner Dave Parris said, as it is uncertain who may have been abusing the child.
Parris said that an autopsy is scheduled for this morning in Eureka. Detectives working on the case said that Bigleggins is the only suspect in the case at this point, and that interviews with the family would continue later this week.
The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office said that charges cannot be filed until they receive a report from the sheriff's office, which could be as soon as today.
Bigleggins is scheduled to be arraigned by Wednesday, and his bail has yet to be set.
Matt Drange and John Driscoll/The Times-Standard
Posted: 07/27/2010 08:41:16 AM PDT