Missouri woman's boyfriend charged in 2-year-old son's murder

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Police say Austin Stonebarger allegedly gave several conflicting stories after the boy's lifeless body was found. (KTRK)

A man left to babysit his girlfriend's 2-year-old son all day is charged in his murder.

Investigators allege the toddler was abused to the point of death by Austin Stonebarger while his mother was out.

When deputies arrived after a call to 911, they found the child neither conscious nor breathing, KTVI-TV reports.

EMS transported the boy to the hospital, where he later died.

Stonebarger was accused of giving conflicting stories to police initially before allegedly confessing he took meth for a few days.

The 23-year-old suspect claims the child became injured after pushing him, causing the toddler to fall and strike his head.

While investigators worked to piece together what happened, neighbors told KTVI they weren't surprised by the tragic circumstances surrounding the boy's death.

"They just seem like squirrely folks," said delivery driver Vincent Bess, who lives next door. "They were always in and out all times of the day."

Bess said the couple had a history of trouble.

"With their erratic behavior and stuff like that, it was just a matter of time before police had to be over here for one reason or another."

Brittany Morgan, another neighbor, said she was stunned by the situation.

"The loss of a child is the worst thing on the planet. So to have it happen, what, three doors down from me is just awful!"
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u.s. & worldmethdrugschild deathMissouri