Cops: Missing out on Kentucky boy discovered dead after mama was tossed from cliff

By Adam Beam, Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP)– A Kentucky guy was charged Monday with the murder of a 5-year-old young boy who viewed helplessly as his mother was beaten, bound and pressed off a cliff over the weekend. The mom survived and was discovered by two hikers who notified authorities, triggering a two-day search that ended previously Monday when the young boy’s body was found near where his mother was left for dead.

Authorities arrested Lonnie Belt, 41, and charged him with the murder of James Spoonamore. Belt likewise faces charges of attack, kidnapping and damaging evidence. James’ mom, Jessica Durham, is recuperating at a Lexington healthcare facility.

Kentucky State Cops Commissioner Rick Sanders stated he did not know how the young boy died. Outcomes of an autopsy likely will not be offered for another two days.

It’s uncertain if Belt has an attorney. Sanders said Durham and Belt are associates and were not romantically included.

Cops provided couple of details of what took place. However an authorities report says Belt and Durham got into a fight over some money and “he hit her on the head, tied her up and took her to the cliff where he attacked her once again.” Sanders said 2 hikers discovered Durham Saturday early morning at the bottom of an 80-foot embankment.

“James was with Jessica when he took her to the cliff and assaulted her,” the report states.

Sanders declined to address concerns about what took place. He said more than 200 individuals searched for the boy on Saturday and Sunday. The search included cops pet dogs, aircraft from the National Guard and great deals of volunteers. Sanders said authorities found the kid at 9:31 a.m. about 180 feet off the roadway in Jackson County, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Lexington.

The news was ravaging for Durham and her household, which includes some family members in Florida who were sustaining Hurricane Irma while authorities were looking for the kid.

“Honestly, it’s been hell. That’s the only way to explain it,” stated Mary Batson, Durham’s sister.

Cynthia Wallace, Durham’s mother and the young boy’s grandmother, said she is still without power at her home near Winter season Haven, Florida. She explained James as a sweet young boy who loved playing with cars and trucks and being in the water. He recently started kindergarten, and Wallace said she enjoyed taking a look at photos Durham sent her of the kid’s very first day at school.

“He was so pleased, he enjoyed school and he even wanted to go on the weekends,” Wallace said. “It’s difficult. It hurts. I just went through a typhoon and all of this here on top of me, I’m simply harmed.”

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