Officials seeking no-show in child death case

Thursday, February 26, 2009 | 12:01 p.m. CST; updated 11:27 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 26, 2009

UNION — Authorities are searching for an eastern Missouri man who failed to show up for a court appearance where he was expected to plead guilty in the death of a toddler.

Court officials issued a fugitive warrant Thursday for 33-year-old Larry Clay Jr. of St. Louis. He was scheduled to appear Wednesday in a Franklin County courtroom.

Authorities say Clay had reached agreement to plead guilty to a charge of felony child abuse resulting in death, avoiding a trial that would have begun this week.

Clay was babysitting a 16-month-old girl in 2003 in St. Clair and allegedly struck the child in the head repeatedly. Police took the unresponsive child to a hospital, where she died.

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