Suspect charged in death of Texas toddler, father

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A suspect has been charged with the death of a toddler who was found restrained inside a stolen SUV about a mile away from where his father was fatally shot just hours earlier.

Houston police identified Bolanle Fadairo Thursday as the man accused of killing 38-year-old Michael Essien and his 2-year-old son Micah. He’s facing two counts of murder in connection with their deaths in addition to one count of tampering with evidence. According to court documents, the final charge stems from the 38-year-old suspect’s alleged efforts to delete texts relevant to the case.

Officers with the Houston Police Department responded Tuesday afternoon to El Camino Del Rey St. near Chimney Rock Road, which is in the Gulfton area. When they arrived on the scene, not far from a local strip mall, they discovered Essien already dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

“Investigators learned the victim met Fadairo at the location and the two spoke briefly before he then shot the victim,” police said. “The victim fled a short distance and collapsed in the parking lot.”

The suspect, meanwhile, fled the scene in Essien’s vehicle, a black Chevrolet Traverse.

Amid their investigation into the deadly violence, authorities received a phone call from a woman who reported her son and husband missing. Investigators quickly determined the missing man and their gunshot victim was the same person and kicked off a search for the missing toddler.

Police eventually found the victim’s car with the child unresponsive in the backseat. Officers had to force entry into the SUV, breaking the back window to reach the toddler, but it was too late. Despite implementing life saving measures, Micah was also pronounced dead on the scene.

His cause of death is pending autopsy results, but Houston Executive Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite previously speculated heat exhaustion to be the cause.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims, but they have been identified by local media outlets.

Fadairo was taken into custody without incident. A judge on Thursday set his bond at $750,000 for each murder charge and $50,000 for the tampering with evidence charge.



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