MARGATE (CBS4) — A search warrant obtained by CBS4 News shows that a 7-year-old child found dead in his mother’s car last month had serious injuries all over his body and may have been dead for some time before paramedics were called.
The warrant, filed in the Broward County Clerk of Courts Office, shows that Margate Police are investigating the death of Jason Davis as a homicide.
Margate Police say they received a call June 22 about Davis being unresponsive in his mother’s car in the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts on West Sample Road.
Police initially reported that Davis’ mother Crystal Burnett told police that Davis suddenly became unresponsive and she tried to revive the boy. But the search warrant obtained by CBS4 News tells a different story.
Investigators said Davis’ body “…was in full rigor mortis when officers and Fire Rescue responded to the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.” The detective, who wrote the warrant, added that “It usually takes a few hours for a dead body to go into rigor mortis.”
The search warrant also says there are inconsistencies in the stories being told by Davis’ mother and her boyfriend, Marcus Johnson. Specifically, the warrant says Burnett told police that her boyfriend spanked Davis on Sunday, June 16 — a week before Davis died. But the warrant says the boyfriend told police, “…he hit (the boy) with a leather belt on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 and that Burnett was present and even told Johnson to get the belt from her closet.”
The search warrant says the medical examiner looked at Davis’ body and found “…cuts and bruises to buttocks, thighs, face, left ear and abdomen” along with “…deep tissue trauma under the area of the belt marks which meant that (the boy) had been struck several times extremely hard.”
The warrant says the autopsy revealed that Davis had “…multiple bruises throughout his body and lacerations to his liver.”
CBS4 News tried to reach Davis’ mother and boyfriend but no one answered the door to the mother’s apartment. By phone Burnett told CBS 4 News, “I don’t have any comment on that right now” regarding the details in the search warrant.
Police acknowledge in the warrant that the cause of Davis’ death is undetermined while investigators await information from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Neighbors described Davis as smiling, polite and happy. They remember a boy who played constantly with other children in the neighborhood and was a welcome presence in many of their homes.
“Sometimes he was so excited to tell me a story he’d turn around and come back to me and give me a hug,” said neighbor Doug Kaplan. “He was a very nice kid.”
People who watched Davis grow up say the information in the search warrant is difficult to hear.
“I want to know what happened,” neighbor Marjorie LeBlanc told CBS4′s Carey Codd. “Why did he have to die for no reason. Because I know he was healthy. “
Margate Police said this remains an active investigation and there is little they can say. No charges have been filed in the case. A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families said they have no history with the family.