The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 3, 2012

Bruises reported on young Seneca boy 10 days before his death

Bruises on the legs of Bradley J. Beck were reported to the state’s child-welfare system 10 days before the toddler died of head trauma that authorities say was inflicted by his mother’s boyfriend.

Sheriff Ken Copeland acknowledged Tuesday that a Newton County deputy was dispatched to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin the afternoon of June 18 regarding a boy being treated for a staph infection on his lips.

The sheriff confirmed that the 22-month-old boy was Bradley Beck, who died last Thursday of head trauma suffered inside his home north of Seneca. Zachary D. Roland, the 20-year-old boyfriend of the boy’s mother, Ashley Seymour, is charged with second-degree murder in the child’s death.

The deputy met with an investigator from the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services on June 18 at Freeman West regarding two bruises that the hospital’s staff reported finding on the boy’s legs, the sheriff said.

Copeland said the mother told the state investigator that her son had been with a relative in Stotts City the previous weekend and must have incurred the bruises there. With no reason to believe that any abuse had taken place in Newton County, the deputy left the hospital with the understanding that the Children’s Division would follow up on the matter in Lawrence County, the sheriff said.

Copeland said the state investigator later told the deputy that she was satisfied with the relative’s explanation that the boy got the bruises while playing with his 3-year-old sister.

The sheriff said he does not know if the Children’s Division ever conducted a study of the boy’s home in Newton County. He said deputies were never called to assist in any investigation by the agency at the address.

Copeland confirmed that deputies responding to the 911 call last Thursday found the home to be filthy, with debris strewn about and dog feces on the floor. He said the mobile home also was extremely hot, with just the living room being cooled to any extent by a lone air conditioner.

“It was quite clear that home was not fit for children to live in,” Copeland said.

He said the boy’s sister was removed and placed in state protective custody at that time.

According to a probable-cause affidavit filed in Newton County Circuit Court, Roland admitted to investigators that he slapped the boy when he started whining while he was giving him a bath on Thursday. He told investigators that he dropped the boy, and he struck his head on the floor of the bathroom and became unresponsive.

The forensic pathologist who conducted an autopsy found a large patch of blood between the boy’s scalp and his skull, and bruising on his legs, back and face.

No interview

THE GLOBE’S EFFORTS to obtain a phone interview through Rebecca Woelfel, communications director for the Missouri Department of Social Services, were unsuccessful Tuesday. Any questions the Globe had could be emailed to her, she said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ArtFest.jpg Giant footballs arrive in Pittsburg; organizers seeking more underwriters, artists for event

    Twenty-four giant fiberglass footballs arrived in Pittsburg on Wednesday to officially kick off SEK Art Fest’s second annual public art event.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Neosho reinstates school officer

    The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mike Pound: Host families build relationships with Joplin Outlaws

    When Missy and Wade Short agreed to serve as a host family for a member of the Joplin Outlaws, they knew they were helping a college baseball player. But what they didn’t know is that they would also find another role model for their son.

    April 16, 2014

  • City of Miami to stage trash, cleanup events

    The city of Miami plans two trash and cleanup events over the next month in an effort to beautify the city and to assist residents with trash removal. This Saturday will see the return of the annual spring “Trash-Off the Streets of Miami.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    Construction will start in about a month on a new bridge on County Road 48 in the northeast part of Jasper County. The Jasper County Commission this week approved a contract for the project on Deer Creek, south of Baseline Road.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014

  • Neosho restores school resource officer to schools

    Neosho Police Chief David McCracken told the city council on Tuesday that he was restoring the city contract to provide a police officer in schools.

    April 16, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter