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A tragic scene – Regionwide manhunt leads to discovery of dead child in Martell

From the Amador Ledger Dispatch: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

By Raheem Hosseini

Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan gives a statement to local media following the discovery of a dead 2-year-old boy in Martell Saturday.

It was the discovery no one wanted to make. Around 6 p.m. Sunday, 12 hours after a regionwide manhunt began in Shingle Springs, Amador County sheriff´s investigators found the body of a 2-year-old boy in a Martell dumpster.

About six hours earlier, the father believed responsible for the apparent filicide had been apprehended in Sonora after a violent tussle with local Tuolumne County sheriff´s officers.

Law enforcement across four counties had been put on the trail of Charles Bailey, a 50-year-old El Dorado County man who had fled the scene of an alleged domestic assault at his Shingle Springs trailer, taking his son, Andrew Bailey, with him. Andrew´s mother, whose name hasn´t been released, called 911 from a neighbor´s home around 7 a.m. after escaping an attack from her ax-wielding boyfriend. As of Monday, she was still at Mercy Hospital of Folsom. El Dorado County Sgt. Jim Byers couldn´t release the extent of her injuries, but said they were serious enough to require hospitalization. She was conscious, however, and provided investigators with a “lengthy statement.”

As soon as El Dorado County sheriff´s officers arrived at the couple´s large fifth-wheel trailer in the 4000 block of Wild Turkey Drive, they discovered Charles had fled with his son and issued an Amber Alert. Also missing was a white 1995 Honda Passport parked in front of the trailer.

When Tuolumne County authorities caught up with him around noon, Charles didn´t have his son with him.

What ensued was a massive ground search that crossed county lines into Amador, where investigators and search and rescue personnel combed Highway 49 into Martell where the discovery was made near a wooded creek behind the Kmart. The crime scene was processed into the night by a response unit with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, though El Dorado County is expected to retain jurisdiction for the criminal prosecution.

As of Monday morning, Charles Bailey was being held at the El Dorado County Jail in Placerville without bail on a single charge of murder for the killing of his son.

“I would expect those charges to be expanded greatly upon arraignment,” Byers said Monday.

Charles Bailey was expected to be arraigned today on additional charges that could include the initial attack on his girlfriend and resisting arrest.

Byers said Charles had no previous criminal history with the El Dorado County Sheriff´s Office.

Approximately 1,500 children die in this country annually of child abuse and neglect, according to Robin Valencia of the Amador County Child Abuse Prevention Council in Jackson, though extreme cases such as this are rare.

Most child abuse results from neglect, such as lack of food, clothing, shelter, health care or supervision.

Jerry Budrick contributed to this report.