Police searching for suspect in murder of 8-month-old boy
LORAIN — Police say they’re searching for a Lorain man who is a suspect in the murder of an 8-month-old child who died Tuesday morning after suffering severe head and brain injuries.
Kevin Kimbrough, 24, of Toledo Avenue, is wanted in connection with the murder of Jayden Davidson, a baby who died around 8 a.m. Tuesday at CHP Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Lorain police Sgt. Mark Carpentiere said.
Jayden — whose body showed signs of abuse dating back at least three months — was the son of Julie St. Clair, 20, of Lorain, Carpentiere said.
Kimbrough had been babysitting Jayden and his 2-year-old brother, neither of whom are Kimbrough’s sons, Carpentiere said. The 2-year-old also showed signs of abuse Tuesday, Carpentiere said.
Carpentiere would not say if St. Clair is a suspect and Kimbrough, whom police hadn’t found as of late Tuesday, has not been charged.
“It’s hard to believe someone could do this to a child,” Carpentiere said.
Police say Kimbrough called 911 from the West Fifth Street home of Cassandra Fonseca, 25, at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
When emergency crews arrived, they discovered the child was injured and in distress. He was dead on arrival at the hospital, Carpentiere said.
Neighbors said they saw Kimbrough and Fonseca standing in the driveway as a paramedic placed an air mask on the infant and carried the boy to an ambulance.
“The ambulance people looked like they were in a hurry, and the baby wasn’t gonna make it,” said Cassandra James, 14, who lives across the street. “The ambulance left, and the guy and girl went in their own car. Like 20 minutes later, the girl came back but the guy wasn’t with her.”
Another neighbor said Kimbrough appeared frantic as he stood in the driveway “rubbing his head, swinging his arms around” as paramedics and police raced around.
When the child reached the hospital, medical personnel quickly discovered he had been physically abused, Carpentiere said.
County Coroner Paul Matus said the infant suffered recent head and brain injuries, as well as older injuries that “indicated a pattern of continued abuse.”
“The prior injuries were a number of weeks before the present time,” Matus said, declining to specify how the injuries may have been inflicted.
Carpentiere said that police — when they spoke to Kimbrough at the West Fifth Street home – were under the impression the child had suffered a medical condition. Kimbrough also told officers he would follow the ambulance.
“We were under the impression that he was going to come to the hospital,” Carpentiere said.
But Kimbrough — who had provided police with a false name — never showed up at the hospital, and attempts to locate him afterward were unsuccessful.
As it turned out, Kimbrough had two active warrants for his arrest: one from Lorain police for failure to appear on theft charges, and one from Franklin County for a parole violation. But by the time police sorted out what had happened, Kimbrough was gone, Carpentiere said.
Police say Kimbrough picked up Jayden and his brother at St. Clair’s Lorain Drive apartment around 7 a.m. Tuesday, about the time St. Clair left for work. Police suspect that Jayden suffered the injuries while still in the apartment, but that Kimbrough still drove the boy and his brother to Fonseca’s home on West Fifth Street.
From there, he called 911 to report that Jayden wasn’t breathing, police said.
According to a Lorain police report, Kimbrough said the child was vomiting “what appeared to be milk” on the way from St. Clair’s apartment to Fonseca’s home.
Kimbrough said the child “had just stopped throwing up, but began breathing differently, then made a noise while breathing and just stopped breathing,” the police report said.
Kimbrough also told police the child had asthma and a heart murmur and used a breathing machine, and he attempted CPR on the boy “for a short time” before waking Fonseca and calling 911, the report said.
Late Tuesday, neighbors near St. Clair’s Lorain Drive apartment said they were shocked that St. Clair’s child was killed, but said they suspected that the boys were being abused.
“That boy had bruises all over him, all the time,” said Juanita Tirado, St. Clair’s neighbor. “(Kimbrough) would just say the baby fell off the bed, but the way those bruises were – it wasn’t from falling off no bed.”
Carlos Rodriguez, another neighbor, echoed the same.
“I saw both those boys with bruises,” Rodriguez said. “The one had bruises on his face, like someone grabbed him right here on his cheek.”
Tirado said St. Clair was outside the apartment Tuesday morning “balling and crying her eyes out.”
“She came over and told us,” Tirado said. “She was crying like crazy.”
Rodriguez said Kimbrough was often around the neighborhood, playing with the children, including Rodriguez’s stepdaughter.
“I trusted that man around my step-girl,” Rodriguez said of Kimbrough. “He was always walking his kids out here, pushing a baby stroller around.”
A neighbor at Fonseca’s West Fifth Street home who declined to provide her name said she’d only seen the children and Kimbrough around the house three or four times, but there were frequently different people around.
Police said Kimbrough was last seen in Elyria driving in a 2008 black Dodge Avenger with a white female. Fonseca’s neighbor said Fonseca drives a newer-model black Dodge Avenger, and Carpentiere said Fonseca may in fact be the woman who Kimbrough was with.
Kimbrough’s father, Ken Kimbrough, said he wasn’t sure what to believe and only wanted his son to turn himself in.
“I’m trying to tough this out myself,” Ken Kimbrough said. “It’s tough when your own child is involved. I’m hoping he didn’t do this.
“I can’t speculate, because no one knows exactly what happened yet,” he said. “This is just totally outrageous. The best thing I can say is for him to turn himself in and explain to the officers what happened.”
Ken Kimbrough also said he hasn’t talked to his son for at least a week, and didn’t talk to him too often.
The Lorain police are asking anyone with information on Kevin Kimbrough’s whereabouts to call Detective Dennis Moskal at (440) 204-2105.
Contact Shawn Foucher at 329-7197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.