WEST VALLEY CITY — West Valley police say a child called 911 over the weekend to report that a woman had been violently attacked.
But which child made that call was still under investigation Monday.
West Valley police were called to 3292 W. Chester Park Dr. (2850 South) about 6:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of an injured woman. Officers arrived to find Belinda Thomas, 46, unresponsive on the floor of the trailer home and not breathing, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
“The female had several wounds to her neck and chest that were consistent with stab wounds,” the report states.
Despite lifesaving efforts by officers, the woman died from her injuries.
It was originally reported that the woman’s 5-year-old son was the one who called 911. But on Monday, West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said detectives are no longer sure. The call was made by “a child,” she said.
The 5-year-old boy was the only other person in the trailer at the time of the attack, she said. Investigators were still trying to determine if that child called emergency dispatchers, or if a child who wasn’t in the trailer at the time of the attack made the call.
Once officers arrived at the scene, Thomas’ son told investigators “that he watched his mother’s boyfriend stab her with a knife,” according to the report.
While interviewing the 5-year-old, police say he kept referring to the boyfriend as “Darren.”
“The child stated that Darren chased him around the house with the knife and that he was going to kill him,” the report states.
The boy told police that he was able to hide in the trailer home and stayed there until the boyfriend left, said Vainuku.
Investigators located and arrested the mother’s boyfriend, Darren Fitzgerald Byrd, 50.
Police found Byrd asleep inside Thomas’ car in a parking lot at 5370 W. 2350 South and took him into custody, according to the report. He was arrested for investigation of aggravated murder, child abuse, obstruction of justice, domestic violence with serious injury in the presence of a child, making a threat of violence and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.
According to court records, Byrd was convicted of three counts of forgery in 1995, two counts of attempted illegal use of a bank card in 1993, and another forgery charge in a separate case in 1993.
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News