Advertisement

UPDATE: OCSO officials say autopsy reveals toddler died from blunt force trauma

(WJHG)
Published: Nov. 12, 2017 at 12:07 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, an autopsy revealed that a Crestview toddler whose body was found in woods died from a skull fracture to the back of the head caused by blunt force trauma.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office added a charge of first degree murder to prior charges involving Cory Hagwell, 29, and a charge of accessory after the fact to murder for the child’s mother, Destinee Merrell, 23.

OCSO officials said Merrell told them Hagwell, her live-in boyfriend, had kicked the little girl in the head and locked her in a closet, then took the child’s body to the woods after she was found dead.

In an interview at the Okaloosa County Jail, Merrell said the abuse happened around 6:30 a.m., but she reportedly never checked on Adelynn in the closet until around 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Officials said the couple called OCSO to report Adelynn missing about an hour later.

OCSO Investigators said during their investigation over the past two days, Merrell and Hagwell had given conflicting stories as to exactly what happened.

According to deputies, a child in the home said he saw Hagwell kick Adelynn while she was playing and he heard Merrell say “Stop Cory."

He said he also saw the little girl in a bedroom closet on the floor and not talking, and never saw or heard her again.

OCSO officials said Merrell told investigators Hagwell lost his job about one month ago and began exhibiting escalating violence towards Adelynn.

According to OCSO, Merrell described hearing thuds and the sounds of Adelynn crying 15 to 16 times over that period. She said Hagwell would also withhold food from Adelynn and put her in the closet for extended periods of time.

Merrell and Hagwell are being held without bond at the Okaloosa County Jail.