Even in death, peace seemed to elude little Myls Dobson. On Wednesday evening, one week after the badly beaten and burned boy was found in the apartment of the woman caring for him, his body was claimed at the morgue in New York.Authorities said the boy was found unconscious and unresponsive on the floor of the bathroom at The Ritz Plaza, a luxury high-rise in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Kryzie King, 27, learned that she had been indicted in connection with the boy’s death when she appeared in Manhattan criminal court for a hearing Wednesday.
She has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment. A prosecutor told the court last week that King also was being investigated on suspicion of murder and faced additional charges. The indictment will be unsealed February 5.
In a statement last week, King’s attorney, Bryan Konoski, said: “My client is not charged with homicide at this time and she is presumed to be innocent of allegations against her. I would tell everyone not jump to any conclusions at this time.” On Wednesday, Konoski did not return a call seeking comment.
Myls’ father, Okee Wade, who has a lengthy arrest record, was jailed in New Jersey on conspiracy, theft and money laundering charges just days after dropping his son off with King in mid-December, authorities said. He pleaded not guilty.
The boy’s mother, Ashlee Dobson, who faced abuse and neglect charges in both South Carolina and New York City before ultimately losing custody of Myls in 2011, plans a memorial service for her son in Harlem on Tuesday night.
“We’re trying to get this child buried with dignity and respect,” said Tony Herbert, a spokesman for Dobson.
In the final weeks of his brief life, Myls suffered unspeakable acts of neglect and violence, according to a criminal complaint.
The boy had burn marks and abrasions on his head, neck, face and testicles, court papers said. There were bruises and numerous marks made by an object on his abdomen and legs and wrists — bruises consistent with being restrained — lacerations to his fingers, abrasions to his armpit, and bruises and scars on his back. The child appeared malnourished, the complaint said.
King told police that Myls’ father dropped the child off for her to watch on December 17 and that she was the “child’s primary and sole caretaker” until the time of his death, the complaint said.
At a news conference Friday, Herbert said that Dobson lost custody of her son for financial reasons. Herbert and Dobson demanded answers from child welfare authorities.
“The city of New York put the child in the care of the father, who they knew was a felon,” Herbert said. “You open up a case and then you close it thinking everything is fine? No. That has to be answered. Who did that, who authorized that?”
Referring to child welfare authorities, he added, “She was in a shelter, they didn’t think it best that she would be in that shelter with a baby, so they gave him to the father.”
David Bookstaver, a family court spokesman, said Wednesday that the mother’s financial straits or stay at a shelter had nothing to do with her losing custody of the child.
“The record reflected serious mental health issues that would have prevented her from properly caring for the young boy,” he said. “In fact, she consented to have the father be Myls’ custodian, as did the child’s lawyer and the Administration for Children’s Services.”
At the New York family court hearing, it was mentioned that Ashlee Dobson was arrested after an emergency room nurse at a South Carolina hospital spotted lacerations on the boy and called the police, according to an April 8, 2011, police report from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
She told police the injuries happened when Myls ran into traffic in the parking lot of a supermarket. She claimed she scratched the boy when she grabbed him and then fell on top of him, the report said.
“When they got up she stated that she slapped the child with a closed fist on his face because she was mad,” the report said.
Dobson told police that Myls later fell down stairs and struck his head. Philip Lights, Dobson’s lawyer, said the case was later dismissed after his client agreed to counseling and treatment under the supervision of child welfare authorities.
Last week, Dobson told reporters that she was turning her life around in hopes of regaining custody of her son. She had weekly visitation rights but last saw her son in November.
In tears, she said, “I love my son. He always loved me. He always gave me kisses.”
The complaint portrays the finals weeks of Myls’ life as a living hell.
King, the baby-sitter, told police that on December 29 she removed a hot rack from an oven with a glove and allegedly placed it against the boy’s right leg, leaving linear burn marks, the complaint said. The next day, she told police, she allegedly struck him about his body five or six times with a belt, leaving bruises and scars.
The complaint said King admitted that from December 30 to January 4, she allegedly tied the boy’s wrists and feet together with shoe laces and gagged him with a piece of cloth. She told police that treatment resulted in scaring on his wrists and ankles. On the day she freed him, the complaint said, King allegedly beat him 12 to 13 times with a belt.
On January 7, during subfreezing temperatures, King told police she allegedly locked the child, wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, outside on a balcony from 20 minutes to an hour, the complaint said. That same day, she allegedly locked the boy inside a dark bathroom for about three hours.
King told authorities that the boy was “being very difficult eating and that the last full meal he ate was on December 26, 2013; after that he would only pick at his food,” the complaint said. The last time the boy ate or drank anything was on January 3.
Aside from her comments about the child not eating well, King gave no indication in the complaint of what might have prompted her purported actions.
After arriving at King’s home on December 17, the complaint said, Myls Dobson lost 20 to 25 pounds.
Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office, said an autopsy was performed Thursday, but the cause of death is pending further study.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Myls’ death tragic and ordered a full report on what happened by the end of this week.
“Each one of these tragedies, it’s our job to try to stop,” he said. “And god forbid when they happen, it is our job to learn from them and try to every time do better so we can reach more children.”