Police find body of missing 3-year-old; mother and boyfriend arrested

(LVPD)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Las Vegas Metro police said investigators found the body of a toddler who was reported missing Sunday morning at a park.

Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said the body of Daniel Theriot was located within Lake Mead National Recreation area early Monday morning.

The boy's 20-year-old mother and her 40-year-old boyfriend were arrested. Spencer said they were booked on child abuse charges, although they will likely be upgraded to murder charges.

"We do have an idea of how the child was killed. I will tell you that it is absolutely disturbing," Spencer said.

The mother originally called police Sunday around 9 a.m. to report the child missing at Sunset Park.

Spencer said the mother claimed she took a phone call and when she turned her attention back to the child, he was gone.

An extensive search for the child began in the park and surrounding areas.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded including Las Vegas Metro police, Red Rock Search and Rescue, Clark County Park police, Child Protective Services, FBI Child Abduction and Rapid Deployment team and National Park Service.

At around 1 p.m., detectives began to doubt the mother's claims. As the search for the boy continued, police launched an additional criminal investigation.

Police continued to search overnight until they found the body of the boy in Lake Mead National Recreation Area Monday morning.

Spencer said the boy may have been killed about 12 hours prior to the mother's original emergency call.

After the discovery, the boy's mother and her boyfriend were arrested.

Child Protective Services took a 2-year-old child that was also in the home.

Police said the child displayed signs of abuse.

It's unclear if the mother's boyfriend is related to any of the children.

This deadly discovery was made nearly two weeks after a similar case involving a report of missing 3-year-old Dejah Amara.

Her mother Aisha Thomas was later arrested after the girl's body was found in a duffel bag inside their home in northeast Las Vegas.

Spencer stressed to parents to seek help if they are facing difficulties in raising their children.

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