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
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

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