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NEW INFO: Two Arrested in Connection with Toddler Death

By: Brooks Jarosz, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE: 1/19/13 @ 8 p.m.
RACELAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A grandmother and her fiance were arrested at a toddler's funeral and charged with child neglect resulting in the two-year-old's death.

Pearl Christian, 45, and Byron Morrison, 38, were both arrested Saturday at Evans Funeral Home in Raceland, Kentucky.

The arrest stems from an incident that took place in the Branchland area of Lincoln County. That's where West Virginia State Police say 2-year-old Chevy Waughtel was climbing on an electric stove when it toppled onto him.

Waughtel died in the hospital Monday but no one has been charged until now.

Troopers say Christian and Morrison were both home at the time of the incident but asleep in another room.

"I was expecting to go see my grand baby be buried and spend time with the rest of my family," Pearl Christian said. "This ain't right."

The suspects call the it an accident but troopers say it's a case of child neglect.

WSAZ.com was there as both suspects were arrested. They are now in the Greenup County Detention Center.

In an exclusive jailhouse interview, the suspects told our cameras what happened.

"I want to die. I just want to die," Christian said. "My world collapsed...it's something I got to live with the rest of my life."

Christian added, "It just stays in my mind. Every time I close my eyes, I see him."

"I mean, Chevy means everything to all of us," Byron Morrison said. "None of us would hurt none of them kids. This is wrong, we shouldn't be here."

Now, bound by four walls in a cell they're left to cope with a loss and filled with regret.

"I do blame myself," Christian said. "I'll always have a place in my heart, he's my world. I wish God could bring him back."

Both Christian and Morrison are in the Greenup County Detention Center. West Virginia State Police will make arrangements to extradite the pair back to the state.

They were both charged with child neglect resulting in death and being a fugitive in another state.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for updates.



ORIGINAL STORY
RACELAND, Ky (WSAZ) -- Kentucky State Police have arrested two people from Lincoln County in connection with the death of a toddler.

The Kentucky State Police in Ashland was contacted by The West Virginia State Police and informed of an open investigation involving Byron Morrison and Pearl Christian.

Earlier this week, two-year-old Chevy Waughtel died after an electric stove fell on him.

Troopers say both the toddler's grandmother, Pearl Jean Christian, 45, and her boyfriend, Byron Morrison, 38, are charged with child neglect resulting in death and being a fugitive from another state.

Troopers say they were both home at the time but asleep.

Troopers picked them up at Evans Funeral Home in Raceland after Waughtel's funeral service.

WSAZ.com was there as both suspects were arrested. They are now in the Greenup County Detention Center.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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