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Mother and Stepfather Charged with Murdering 2-Year-Old Boy Found with Bruises, Broken Bone in Mississippi: Police

Booking photos of Hailey Leann Heard and Joseph David Heard.

Hailey Leann Heard and Joseph David Heard.

A mother and stepfather are accused of murdering their 2-year-old boy, who was found with bruises on his body and a broken bone two days after Christmas. Hailey Leann Heard, 21, and Joseph David Heard, 38, were arrested Wednesday, according to the SunHerald.

Cops did not identify the toddler. According to Biloxi police, they were called to the 300 block of St. Mary Boulevard in Biloxi, Mississippi on the morning of Dec. 27. Hailey Heard told them her son was unresponsive, authorities said. The child, who officers did not identify, was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later.

“The upgraded charges are the result of a collaborative investigation conducted by several local and state agencies,” police said in a press release obtained by the SunHerald. Cops did not respond to a Law&Crime request for information.

Officers did not apparently elaborate in the press statement on why and how they believe the Heards killed the son, but the arrest report obtained by WLOX showed that police said the 2-year-old had bruises on his body and a broken bone consistent with abuse.

It is not entirely clear how the boy died. Investigators did not suggest an alleged motive.

The autopsy was ongoing, Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer said in the report from Thursday. The investigation is ongoing, his office told Law&Crime on Friday.

The couple is charged with capital murder. They remain held without bond at the jail in Harrison County, online records show.

[Booking photos via Harrison County Sheriff’s Office]

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