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Bootheel man charged in infant son's death
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- A Portageville, Mo., man is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his infant son.
Kade Reaves Stringfellow, 23, is charged with abuse of a child resulting in death and second-degree murder following the death of Karson Stringfellow on Wednesday at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Stringfellow was being held in the New Madrid County Jail.
According to the probable cause statement, the Missouri Children's Division was alerted of a possible child abuse case on July 16 following calls from Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, Mo., and St. Louis Children's Hospital.
New Madrid County deputy Danny J. Ware's probable-cause statement noted hospital staff became suspicious due to inconsistent stories from Stringfellow. Medical officials stated Stringfellow's explanations were not consistent with the injuries to the child.
Ware interviewed a next-door neighbor, who said Stringfellow had called her on July 16 and stated he had slipped and fallen while holding the infant. He told the neighbor he thought the child may be injured.
When the neighbor checked on the child, she told the officer she noticed the child was upset and crying and urged Stringfellow to contact the child's mother. When she returned to the apartment several hours later she said the infant "was having 'jerky' movements with his arms and legs and appeared to be having difficulty breathing," according to the probable cause statement.
The neighbor urged the parents to take the child to a hospital. Approximately two hours later the couple again contacted the neighbor asking her to watch the other children while they took the child to Missouri Delta Medical Center.
The child was flown to St. Louis Children's Hospital, where he was placed on life support due to brain injury.
A medical affidavit provided by Dr. Jamie S. Kondis, a pediatrician at hospital, found Karson Stringfellow had bleeding within the covering of the brain, bleeding into multiple layers of the retinas of both eyes, diffuse cerebra edema resulting in brain death, healing fractures to four ribs on the right side and possible fractures of two ribs on the left as well as a bruised left eyelid.
Ware wrote in the probable cause statement that "according to Dr. Kondis, Karson has healing rib fractures for which no mechanism of injury was provided ... The amount of force required to produce these injuries exceeds that which is required for routine child care or play and is of sufficient magnitude that a reasonable adult caretaker would recognize that force could result in serous injury to a newborn."
The doctor stated he suspected the child was a victim of abuse.
During interviews with the investigators from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Stringfellow gave several inconsistent versions of how the injuries occurred. According to the probable cause statement, Stringfellow admitted he was the only one present with the infant when the injuries occurred.
New Madrid, MO