2-year-old Virginia boy was victim of physical, sexual abuse before death, police say

*WARNING: Details of this story are disturbing

CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia — Police in Christiansburg, Virginia are investigating a disturbing case of child abuse that ended with a little boy’s death.

Back on Jan. 11th, police were called to a home for a report of a child who had fallen and was unresponsive, they said in a news release.

When officers arrived, they found two-year-old Steven Meek on the living room floor. Officers said McKenzie Hellman, 25, was seated next to him.

The boy’s mother, Kayla Thomas, 25, was at work, officers said.

They said Hellman was Thomas’ boyfriend.

Emergency crews performed CPR on the boy for about 25 minutes before a pulse was detected. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then flown to another hospital.

Police said the doctors and nurses who treated the boy discovered bruising and injuries that were not consistent with Hellman’s account of the boy falling out of his bed.

On Jan. 13th, police arrested Hellman and charged him with one count of felony child abuse.

Later that same day, the little boy was placed on life support and later died.

Detectives discovered evidence that Steven was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Hellman and Thomas, police said in a news release.

McKenzie Hellman and Kayla Thomas (Photo Credit: WHSV video still)

Hellman was charged with:

  • Felony murder
  • Aggravated sexual battery of a child less than 13 years of age
  • Solicitation of a minor less that 15 years of age for sexual purposes
  • Accessory to inanimate object sexual penetration of a person less than 13 years of age
  • Accessory to forcible sodomy by engaging in fellatio with a child less than 13 years of age
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Accessory before the fact to distribution of child pornography
  • Child abuse

Thomas was charged with:

  • Forcible sodomy by engaging in fellatio against the victim’s will by force, threat or intimidation
  • Inanimate object penetration of a person less than 13 years of age
  • Production of child pornography involving a child less than 15 years of age
  • Possession and distribution of child pornography
  • Being a parent or guardian, committing a willful act so gross and wanton as to show a reckless disregard for human life – Child neglect

Hellman and Thomas are in jail without bond.

“We are fortunate to live in a community where violent crime is rare,” Christiansburg Police Chief Mark Sisson said in a release. “However, that same good fortune makes it all the more shocking when things like this happen in our community. We can only imagine the pain felt by the loved ones of Steven Meek II, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”

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