Newly released police documents detail investigation into alleged murder of 2-year-old boy

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Ramon Angel Reyes-Chavez, 2, was laid to rest Wednesday at Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest, as newly released police reports detail the investigation into the boy’s death, allegedly at the hands of his own mother and her boyfriend. 

Ayled Chavez, 19, and her boyfriend, Kaleb Kessinger, 20, are accused of murdering the boy, whose body was found buried Thursday, April 26 off a Kern River Canyon trail. 

The day before, Wednesday, April 25, police responded to a call from Chavez regarding what she said was a kidnapping. She told investigators her son was taken from her by two men in a black GMC Yukon near the intersection of South Union Avenue and Panama Lane, according to Bakersfield Police Department documents. After being questioned by officers, Chavez admitted she made the story up, even placing a bag full of unused diapers on the side of the road, police said. 

She then allegedly told police Kessinger had struck the boy with a car door, injuring him. She said on Tuesday, April 24 she had returned from a dinner engagement with a friend to Kessinger’s home in Northwest Bakersfield, where she found the boy in bed, injured but breathing. She told officers she tried to convince Kessinger to let her take the child to a hospital, but said he threatened to kill her and hurt her family if she took the boy, according to the reports. She then said Kessinger changed his mind, and they began to take her son to the hospital, but he died on the way. 

Chavez said they then returned to the home, left the dead child in a vehicle, and went to sleep, according to police. 

The next day, she and Kessinger took the boy’s body into the wilderness, first leaving the boy unburied before returning later in the day to bury him, police said. 

After responding to the false kidnapping report that night, officers, along with Chavez, traveled to Kessinger’s residence. When they approached, Kessinger took off in a black BMW sedan, leading officers on a high-speed chase, police said. Kessinger crashed the vehicle a few miles away, but escaped police custody. 

Chavez then agreed to lead police to the boy’s body, taking investigators south on Highway 99 early in the morning on Thursday, April 26 toward Santa Clarita, as she said she remembered seeing Six Flags Magic Mountain during the trip, according to police documents. After realizing they were not in the right area, Chavez then led officers North to Highway 178 and into the Kern River Canyon, where they discovered the burial site off a nearby dirt trail. 

The next day, Friday, April 27, Kessinger was arrested at the Travelodge on Oak Street. Officers entered Kessinger’s room without announcing their presence, as they had evidence Kessinger was armed. They found Kessinger lying in bed, with his hands underneath the sheets, according to police. Officers told Kessinger to put his hands up, but said he repeatedly refused their commands and did not raise his hands. Police then used a stun gun on Kessinger multiple times and struck him with batons until he complied, police said. 

Once in police custody, Kessinger denied harming the boy in any way. He said he only took off when police approached him on April 25 because of a prior weapons arrest, according to documents.  

The documents also say police discovered multiple splatters of blood and blood stains on furniture and walls at Kessinger’s home, as well as dried blood and bandages at the burial site of the child. 

Both Chavez and Kessinger have pleaded not guilty to the murder charges. Chavez and Kessinger are due back in court Thursday.

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