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New details in the death of two-year-old boy found in the Kern River Canyon

Posted: 11:27 AM, May 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-10 01:29:16Z
Docs detail toddler's death, suspect's arrest
Docs detail toddler's death, suspect's arrest

New details in the case involving a two-year-old who was found dead in the Kern River Canyon, and his mother and her boyfriend facing murder charges. 

23ABC obtained the police report which states Ayled Chavez, 19, Ramon Reyes Chavez's mother, told detectives that she and her ex-boyfriend Kaleb Kessinger, 20, made two trips to the Democrat area in the canyon. Chavez said she and Kessinger first went in the early morning hours of April 25 and left her son's body in the canyon and then later went back that day at 4 p.m. to bury the boy's body.

According to the police report, Chavez originally contacted Bakersfield Police later that night, saying she was walking in the 600 block of South Union Avenue on the sidewalk with her child, Ramon Reyes Chavez. According to the report, Chavez originally told police that a Hispanic man in his 20's to 40's driving a Black GMC Yukon SUV pulled up behind her and took her son and fled southbound on Union Avenue.

Police officials said Chavez had a calm demeanor, lacking deep concern when they initially contacted her. Officers also noticed that Chavez didn't have any defense wounds on her which would have indicated that she was actually trying to hold on to her son as long as possible as she described to police, according to documents. 

Chavez then began to change her original story after further questioning, police said. Chavez revealed she was not a victim of a kidnapping and there was no Black GMC Yukon SUV involved. She admitted that she had been involved in a verbal argument with her boyfriend, Kessinger, and left his car with her two-year-old toddler inside.

When police detained Chavez for further questioning she later led officers to the Kern River Canyon, where she said she believed that her son's body was buried. According to the report police were able to pin-point the burial location because they discovered band-aids on a rock, a leaf with dried blood, overturned dirt and disturbed soil in the area. Officials then located the body of the toddler.

The manhunt for Kessinger ultimately ended on Friday, April 28th, according to Bakersfield Police.

Police found Kessinger in a room at the Travel Lodge on Oak Street in central Bakersfield.  The police report says officers forced entry into his motel room and tased him three times because he was not cooperating with police and was grabbing the officer baton and kicking them. However, the report says the tasers did not work and officers had to use their baton on Kessinger.

Kessinger was ultimately arrested and taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries sustained from a car crash he suffered when he allegedly ran from police and crashed at the intersection of Olive Drive and Calloway Drive.

Kessinger was booked on five felony charges including first-degree murder, custodian assault of a child, reckless evading a peace officer and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of obstructing or resisting a peace officer. 

Chavez was in court on Monday, April 30th and plead not guilty. Her bail was set at $1,000,000. 

Kessinger's bail was also set at $1,000,000.

Both are due in court again Thursday May,10.

According to the report when investigators later searched Kessinger's home on Night Hawk Lane they found DNA blood samples on the arm of a couch, in entry way to a child’s room and red spatters on the mirrored wall.

After further examining the toddlers body according to the police report the boy had a laceration on the top of his head, trauma to his face and an abrasion on his left shoulder.

According to the report Chavez told detectives that on the night of April 24, she left her son in the care of Kessinger before going to dinner with a friend. Chavez told detectives that Kessinger picked her up after dinner, and that when they returned to his residence she saw her son, "sleeping" in Kessingers room. Chavez also stated to detectives that she saw trauma to her son's head and face. According to the report she asked Kessinger about what occurred and he told her that he accidentally hit her son with the car door.

According to the report Chavez said her son was still breathing at Kessinger's home and that she requested to take him to the hospital, but that Kessinger initially refused and said he did not want to go to prison, and he allegedly threatened to harm Chavez and her family if she told police.

Chavez told detectives that she eventually convinced Kessinger to take her son to the hospital, but that on the way that's when Chavez said her son stopped breathing. Chavez told authorities that when she and Kessinger returned to his home on Night Hawk Lane she left her son in the car and they both went inside to go to sleep.

According to the report Chavez stated that after waking up the next day on April 25, both her and Kessinger drove to an Kern River Canyon in the early morning hour, where Kessinger dumped her son's body. Chavez told detectives that they both drove back to the canyon later that day to bury her son Ramon's body.

The police report shows that detectives used trail surveillance video from the U.S. Forest Service that depicted a vehicle matching Kessinger's BMW stopped at both 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the area near where they found Ramon's body.

Three and half hours later Chavez reported that her son had been kidnapped to Bakersfield Police rather than her son's death.