Kansas officers arrived at a Wichita home on April 11 to arrest two parents after finding a dead 2-year-old in a crib, KAKE reported. The infant may have been dead for days.
The parents, 22-year-old Brandi Kai Marchant and 28-year-old Patrick Robert Javonovich, were officially booked and sent to Sedgwick County Jail on April 12.
#BREAKING @WichitaPolice say 3-year-old Zaiden Javonovich may have been dead for days before officers found him last week. His parents have been arrested for felony murder. https://t.co/E5AlwTXK34 #kwch12 pic.twitter.com/WCJNLqlrrn
— KWCH Eyewitness News (@KWCH12) April 15, 2019
Marchant and Javonovich were accused of murdering Zaiden Javonovich, their 2-year-old son, according to Wichita police spokesman Officer Charley Davidson, The Wichita Eagle reported.
— Akeam Ashford (@AkeamAshford) April 7, 2017
They are being held on the suspicion of aggravated child endangerment with their bond set at $200,000.
On April 11, officers responded to a 911 call and went to the Javonovich residence, 4500 block of South Hydraulic, around 11:30 p.m. local time.
Upon arrival, the officers saw the couple walking back to the residence where Zaiden and his 4-month-old brother were home alone.
When one of the officers searched their home, they found Zaiden in his crib; dead and wrapped in a blanket.
This is the most recent picture of 3-year-old Zaiden…from his first Christmas. Today we learned horrible details…
The 4-month-old was alive, but in “need of medical attention,” Davidson said, according to the Wichita Eagle.
He had suffered injuries and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Fortunately, he is now in a better condition.
Captain Brent Allred said that an autopsy will be performed to determine how long Zaiden was dead and the cause of death. Zaiden also suffered injuries, KAKE reported.
Allred couldn’t believe what he saw.
“It’s shocking to see adults treating kids the way these two did,” Allred told KAKE. “It’s shocking is what it is.”
The Department of Children and Families has been involved with the family as in addition to Zaiden and his brother, the mother has two other children while the father has one other child. Police said that no prior reports of abuse had been made about the parents yet, Allred said.
The parents have not yet appeared in court after Zaiden tragic death.
Harvard Study Suggests Child Abuse Might Alter DNA
A study based on a small group of men indicates that child abuse may impact the DNA of the victims and that those changes might even be passed on to the victims’ offspring.
Harvard researcher Dr. Andrea Roberts, along with colleagues at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, conducted a long-term study to look for the possible effects of child abuse on victims’ genetic material. The results, published in the journal Translational Psychology, show a strong link between abuse and DNA alteration.
The study examined 34 men—22 of whom had been abused as children—and found 12 different sites on victims’ DNA that had been affected by a process called “methylation.”
Methylation occurs when a chemical compound called a methyl group attaches to a person’s DNA and affects the way the DNA operates.
A methyl group—a carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms attached—can attach itself to a person’s DNA and once in place, generally suppresses some genes’ functions.
The resultant mutation can be passed on through sperm from one generation to the next—which means that trauma such as child abuse might permanently alter a family’s future generations.
Anxious Behavior and Other Health Risks
“Some very good findings from mice have shown that early life stressors affect the marks on the sperm, and then, in turn, those affect the health of the offspring, in particular, creating a kind of anxious behavior,” Roberts explained.
Roberts’s earlier work showed a link between traumatic stress and various health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and musculoskeletal disorders.
The new research shows that the children of abused children might inherit some of the same risks.
Roberts has also studied the effect of childhood abuse on women and the likelihood of women who were abused as children giving birth to autistic children.
Dr. Michael S. Kobor, a professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, was the senior author in the Harvard child abuse study.
Kobor has written seminal works on how childhood environment and experience can change DNA.
He hypothesized that eventually, scientists might be able to identify the victims of child abuse and testify in court cases concerning the crime.
“Methylation is starting to be viewed as a potentially useful tool in criminal investigations—for example, by providing investigators with an approximate age of a person who left behind a sample of their DNA,” Kobor told Medical Xpress.
“So it’s conceivable that the correlations we found between methylation and child abuse might provide a percentage probability that abuse had occurred.”
Roberts made it clear that while the findings of the research were significant, they were preliminary. Even though the sperm cells of child abuse victims are altered, it is unclear whether or how the resulting offspring might be affected.
“When the sperm meets the egg, there is a massive amount of genetic reshuffling, and most of the methylation is at least temporarily erased,” Roberts explained. “But finding a molecular signature in sperm brings us at least a step closer to determining whether child abuse might affect the health of the victim’s offspring.”