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Father of dead 2-year-old remains jailed in Illinois

Saturday, June 28, 2008 | 6:17 p.m. CDT; updated 12:48 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The father of a 2-year-old boy who died at University Hospital on Wednesday was still being held in the St. Clair County Jail in Cahokia, Ill., as of 5 p.m. Saturday.

The time and date of his extradition to Missouri have yet to be determined.

Horace C. Johnson, 25, was arrested for a parole violation around 8:30 p.m. Thursday in East St. Louis, Ill., a Columbia Police Department news release said. Two investigators from the Columbia police traveled to Cahokia on Friday, but Johnson refused to speak with them, according to the release.

The boy’s mother, Keyonda Lumpkin, 26, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child on Wednesday night. As of Saturday evening, Lumpkin was still being held in the Boone County Jail, and her bond, which was originally $4,500, had been removed.

Lumpkin told police she was aware her child, Cortez Johnson, was being harmed over the course of several days but did not seek proper medical attention, a separate police news release said.

Meanwhile, the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed after an autopsy Thursday morning that the death of Cortez Johnson was “certainly suspicious in nature,” though no cause of death was released. Additional toxicology tests and other lab results are required to determine a cause, another police news release said. Those results are expected in two to four weeks.

The investigation into the suspicious death of Cortez Johnson began Wednesday morning when he was brought to University Hospital, where efforts to resuscitate him failed. The boy was unresponsive when Lumpkin, another woman and — police think — Horace Johnson arrived with the child at the hospital.

“We’re fairly certain that the father dropped him off and then left,” Columbia Police Capt. Brad Nelson said.

Johnson and Lumpkin are not married. It is believed, however, that the two have been living together for a short time in the 1000 block of Elleta Boulevard, Nelson said.

In March 2004, Johnson pleaded guilty to third-degree domestic assault, stealing more than $500 but less than $25,000 and possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana, according to Missouri Case.net.

In 2006, Johnson pleaded guilty to resisting or interfering with arrest, first-degree trespass and operating a vehicle on a highway without a valid license, two counts of receiving stolen property less than $500, third-degree assault and first-degree trespass, according to Missouri Case.net.

In August 2007, Johnson pleaded guilty to felony possession of a controlled substance, according to Missouri Case.net.

Anyone with information is requested to submit tips on the CrimeStoppers Web site, 875tips.com, or to call Columbia Police at 874-7652.

Missourian reporter Tony Brown contributed to this report.


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