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Crime News Breaking News

Boyfriend Allegedly Burned Boy With Scalding Water While Mom Watched

Cassie Smith and Joshua Oxford are facing murder charges after they allegedly hid the boy's body in the desert and concocted a fake kidnapping story. 

By Jon Silman

A Las Vegas mother is accused of watching while her boyfriend poured scalding hot water on her 3-year-old son as punishment, and continuously beat him. The boy later died.

Cassie Smith, 20, and Joshua Oxford, 41, were arrested in connection with the boy's death. Oxford allegedly smacked Daniel Theriot repeatedly on Sept. 1 to punish him, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When the boy still wouldn't listen, Oxford heated water on a stove and poured it on him, according to a police report.

“(The boy) said ‘ow’ and asked for his mother, who was watching, but did nothing,” the report said.

The couple later told police that Daniel "had a bad attitude and had been disrespectful," according to KVVU-TV in Las Vegas.

The couple told the boy to stand in the corner and went to run some errands, and Oxford's mother, Kathy Evans, was at the apartment and let Daniel lie down while they were gone.

When Oxford got back around 45 minutes later, he was upset that his mother let the boy rest, and resumed beating him, the report said.

The next morning, the boy was dead, the report said.

The couple placed the boy's body in a plastic tub and took him to a far away spot in the desert, the report said, and then put the body in a “large white fiberglass shell of an apparent appliance.”

To explain the boy’s disappearance, the couple made up a story that he went missing at a nearby park, the report said.

Smith told police she took her son to the park to feed the ducks, but her phone rang. She said she turned her back for a moment and then Daniel disappeared. Police mounted a large search, but began to question Smith's story when no one in the park could remember seeing her with her son.

Under further questioning, the couple admitted what happened, and Smith led police to the body. An autopsy was performed on Sept. 4.

It showed that Daniel suffered numerous bruises, abrasions and blunt force injuries, according to the report. He also had broken ribs and a severe brain injury.

The couple is facing charges of first degree murder. They're due in court on Nov. 26, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

[Photo: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department]