Community Mourns Abused Child in Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, WV - Police are investigating the death of three-year-old Kaiwon Connelly after they say his father beat and burned him. Those in the small neighborhood on Joshua Drive are mourning the loss of a child.

"I was shocked, devastated, because I saw the little boy leaving on the gurney going to the ambulance," says Mary Conlee, who lives in an apartment on Joshua Drive.

They were the last hours of Kaiwon's life. He died at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Police say he had head trauma and scarring all over his body, including the burns. They've charged his father, 20-year-old James Mauldin.

Mauldin's girlfriend, 22-year-old Jasmine Dawkins, has also been charged with child neglect. Police say she should have reported the abuse, but never did.

For neighbors who were outside the apartment after Kaiwon collapsed, seeing his small body strapped to a gurney was devastating.

"I saw them pumping on his chest, the little fellow was on the gurney, and they were pumping on his chest," Conlee says.

People have started leaving memorials for Kaiwon. Conlee left a teddy bear with a message.

"Jesus has his arms open for him and he has no more pain," she says. "There's no more suffering. His dad can't do this to him anymore."

After the child's death, police are re-filing charges against Mauldin. State police are in D.C. awaiting the autopsy results.

Mauldin is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail on a $55,000 cash-only bond. Dawkins is being held on a $25,000 cash-only bond.

According to police, Kaiwon's mother just finished serving a nine month sentence for child neglect.

Related story: Police Charge Father, Girlfriend in Fatal Child Abuse Case

Don't Miss

Latest News

Video Center