LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The mother of a 4-year-old boy found dead Tuesday in a freezer said she was locked in a room and separated from her children for months, according to her lawyer.
Brandon Toseland, 35, faces two counts of kidnapping and one charge of murder in the death of Mason Dominguez.
Dominguez’s body was discovered inside the suspect’s Las Vegas garage inside a trash bag in a freezer. Detectives believe Mason had been there for at least 10 weeks and that a large hole in the backyard may have been dug as a potential grave.
Neighbors said the hole seemed to appear overnight and that no work was seen during the day.
Detectives said they also found sand and debris from the backyard inside a U-Haul truck parked in front of Toseland’s home. Investigators left the home on Wednesday night with several evidence bags after processing the residence for 24 hours.
Mason Dominguez’s mother met Toseland through her husband, who died in January 2021, her attorney, Stephen Stubbs, said.
“Brandon Toseland and the victim’s mother moved into his house in March 2021, and Mr. Toseland proceeded to slowly and methodically exercise more and more control over the family until they were trapped,” Stubbs said.
Toseland’s girlfriend (the boy’s mother) told police she had not seen Mason since Dec. 11, 2021, and feared he might be dead.
Court documents obtained by Nexstar’s KLAS said Toseland told his girlfriend that Mason was ill in early December. He said he found him unconscious and that she could not see the boy.
Toseland reportedly told his girlfriend that he had taken Mason into a bedroom and was locked inside with him for several days. He then told his girlfriend that Mason was deceased, documents said.
“Mr. Toseland’s house was fortified with locks, window alarms, motion sensors, video cameras, gates, keyhole entrances to every room — needed a key to go in or out — and the windows were covered,” Stubbs said. “Mr. Toseland took over the victim mother’s social media, car keys, and phone, contacted her work via text message to quit her job in December 2021.”
Stubbs said Mason’s mother and her older child, a 7-year-old girl, were often locked in separate rooms. He said Mason’s mother was frequently handcuffed or locked in a room.
Starting in December, Mason’s mother hatched a plan to write notes to send through her daughter, Stubbs said.
“A pen and sticky notes were in the car, and the mother was only able to access them for a few moments at a time, when she was handcuffed alone in the car as Mr. Toseland dropped off or picked up the 7-year-old daughter from the gate across the street from the school,” Stubbs said. “Fearing death if she was caught, the mother was able to write notes, little by little, and hide them from Mr. Toseland. Eight or nine sticky notes were written. Then, two days before the rescue, Mr. Toseland finally allowed the mother to sleep with her 7-year-old daughter and the mother coached the daughter on what to do.”
On Tuesday, the daughter delivered the notes to a teacher who contacted Clark County School District police.
“The family is very grateful to school officials and the law enforcement that rescued them,” Stubbs said. “Brandon Toseland is a monster. The mother and daughter victims are grateful that their captivity is over. They are traumatized by these horrifying events, and overwhelmed with grief for the loss of their 4-year-old son and brother.”
When officers arrested Toseland on Tuesday, initially on suspicion of kidnapping, they noticed a handcuff attached to the car where Mason’s mother was sitting.
Police also found Mason’s mother’s cellphone in Brandon’s custody during his arrest.
Police noted Toseland made no attempt to call for help after Mason’s death.
Toseland is due in court Monday.
If you or someone you know is living with domestic violence, you can reach out for help by contacting SafeNest. You can call or text 24/7 the confidential hotline phone number (702) 646-4981.