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Crime News Breaking News

Las Vegas Couple Charged With Murder, Accused Of Staging 8-Year-Old Son’s Death As Suicide

Leon Gritz and Christina Gritz have been charged with the murder of their young son Isaiah after the boy showed signs of physical abuse, investigators said.

By Dorian Geiger
Tragic and Disturbing Cases of Child Abuse

A Las Vegas couple has been arrested on suspicion of murder after they allegedly reported their son’s death as a suicide to city police over the weekend. 

Leon Gritz, 27, and Christina Gritz, 28, who police say claimed their 8-year-old boy, Isaiah Gritz, had attempted suicide, are now accused of covering up the child’s murder, authorities said on Saturday.

On March 20, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 2000 block of North Torrey Pines Drive shortly after 2 a.m. Leon Gritz, who had phoned 911, allegedly gave emergency dispatchers a false narrative about what led up to their boy's death.

“Leon reported that his 8-year-old son had attempted suicide,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. 

At the scene, first responders found Isaiah, who was unresponsive. The boy was transported to the University Medical Center’s trauma unit in North Las Vegas where he was later pronounced dead by medical personnel. 

Detectives who discovered the child said he showed signs of neglect and abuse. His parents were both charged with one count of open murder.

“The investigation led by the LVMPD Homicide Section revealed the victim showed substantial injuries believed to be the result of physical abuse and neglect by his parents,” police added.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s requests for comment on Tuesday regarding the boy's death.

Authorities indicated an autopsy is pending, and the child’s cause and manner of death haven’t been released.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office confirmed the child’s identity on Tuesday. It’s unclear when preliminary autopsy results may be publicly released. 

“Cause and manner of death are pending at this time,” a spokesperson for the coroner told Oxygen.com in a statement. “This can take up to 90 days to be determined.”

Leon Gritz and Christina Gritz were arrested on March 20. The couple is being held at a Clark County detention center, according to separate online jail records accessed by Oxygen.com. They’re being held on no bond.

Leon Gritz and Christina Gritz appeared in Las Vegas justice court at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, officials confirmed. It’s unclear whether either of the parents has entered a plea to the charges or retained legal representation to speak on their behalf.

Neither member of the couple appears to have a prior criminal history, according to online court records.

Separate Facebook profiles indicate that both Leon and Christina Gritz are from Oakland, California. A number of images and videos of the couple’s son can be seen on Leon Gritz’s social media page, alongside posts depicting vodka containers, marijuana, as well as sexually and racially explicit memes.

One photograph, dating back more than seven years, shows what appears to be a freshly inked tattoo of Isaiah’s name and birthdate on the father's arm.

“Got baby boy name tatted,” Leon Gritz wrote in the photo caption on Jan. 18, 2014.

Anyone with additional information related to the incident is asked to call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Section at 702-828-3521 or by emailing homicide@lvmpd.com.

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