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Las Vegas Police Release 911 Call In Death Of 4-Year-Old Found In Freezer
The calls were made after the mother of Mason Dominguez slipped notes to her 7-year-old daughter alleging Brandon Toseland was holding them hostage and had killed the young boy.
Police this week released the 911 call that led to the rescue of a mother and daughter from an alleged kidnapper — and the discovery of the body of the woman's 4-year-old son.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released an eight-minute phone call to 911 from a Clark County School District police officer explaining that a 7-year-old girl had brought in a series of sticky notes from her 28-year-old mother claiming she was being held against her will by Brandon Toseland, 35. She also indicated she believed her 4-year-old son was dead and asked for the police to be sent, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The call, police previous said in a statement, came in at 8:40 a.m. on Feb. 22.
The police officer told the dispatcher that the handwriting on the notes appeared to be a match for the mother's handwriting on an application for the school, the paper reported.
According to an interview with the woman's lawyer, Stephen Stubbs, in PEOPLE last week, police were dispatched to surveil the mother's home while waiting on search warrants. While they waited, they saw Toseland and the woman exit the home and get in a car, Las Vegas homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told the Associated Press. According to Stubbs, police stopped Toseland on a traffic violation, which is when they saw handcuffs attached to the vehicle next to passenger seat.
"The woman told detectives she had undergone abuse by Toseland, and she was not allowed to leave the house alone or enter the garage," the police statement said, adding that she said she had not seen her son, Mason Dominguez, since December and believed he was dead.
Police searched Toseland's house and found the 4-year-old's body in a freezer in the garage, according to the statement. In Toseland's arrest report, they said the boy's body had been placed in a trash bag under a false cardboard bottom amid food items in the freezer, the Review-Journal reported.
Toseland currently faces two counts of first degree kidnapping and one count of murder, and is being held without bond, according to Clark County Jail records. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 7.
The woman's lawyer, Stubbs, said that she was widowed in January 2021 when her young husband, Eli Dominguez, died of pneumonia. Struggling with raising two young children alone and her bills, she reportedly got involved with Toseland, a friend of her husband, and moved into his home in March 2021.
It did not go well.
"He methodically and systematically just started exercising more and more control over her," Stubbs told PEOPLE. "So the family expressed concern, [and] then they kind of started withdrawing from family a little bit."
In a lawsuit filed by Stubbs on behalf of his client against Toseland — for wrongful death, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence — the woman claims Toseland cut her off from her family and began monitoring her text messages and responding to them on her behalf. She claims that he placed video camera and motion sensor devices throughout the home — which police reportedly found during the search — and locked her and her children in separate rooms so that they couldn't talk without him present. Stubbs told PEOPLE that he also placed locks on the outside of the bedroom doors, watched her use the bathroom and regularly searched her, her daughter and their living quarters.
"The mother was physically, sexually and emotionally abused,” Stubbs previous told the AP. "The children were physically and emotionally abused and separated from their mother most of the time."
He said she feared for her life and for her children's lives if she left.
The woman told police that she'd last seen her son on Dec. 11, according to the arrest report, when the boy became ill and she wanted to seek medical care. Toseland refused, and then barricaded himself in the master bedroom with the child.
When she later asked about her son, Toseland told her the boy had died but he couldn't show her the body "because his freedom would be taken away," the arrest report stated. He reportedly told her the boy had vomited on himself and was not responsive to CPR. Toseland never called for medical assistance at the home, police say.
A cause of death for the boy has not yet been released, but prosecutors told the court in February that he had "visible injuries" when he was found, the Review-Journal reported. The mother told police that, after they'd moved in, Toseland “was disciplining the boy extensively,” the AP reported.
After Dec. 11, Toseland allegedly took the woman's phone away from her, sent text messages on her behalf berating her family and texted her job from her phone to tell them she was quitting. When she wasn't cooking or cleaning for Toseland, she was physically restrained and separated from her daughter, her lawyer told PEOPLE. She was no longer allowed to enter the garage or leave the house without him, and she was handcuffed in the car when they did go somewhere together, she says in her lawsuit.
Stubbs told PEOPLE that it was on one of those car trips — to drop her daughter at school — that she discovered a pad of sticky notes and a pen. Over a series of weeks, the woman wrote a few words at a time on several sticky notes as Toseland walked her daughter into the school, concealing the used ones under her clothes until the two got to his home and then hiding them between the mattress pad and sheet on her side of the bed because it was the only place Toseland didn't regularly search.
She also discovered that Toseland didn't search inside her daughter's socks before the girl went to school, her lawyer told the magazine.
On Feb. 20 and 21 — the Sunday and Monday of Presidents' Day weekend — Toseland locked mother and daughter up together rather than separately without explanation, Stubbs told PEOPLE and stated in the lawsuit. That's when the woman passed her series of nine sticky notes onto the 7-year-old and explained that she needed to give them to her teacher as soon as she arrived at school on Tuesday — and that she should not tell Toseland about them.
On Feb. 22, the grade schooler followed her mother's instructions, leading to Toseland's arrest and the discovery of her 4-year-old brother's frozen body.