Mother arrested in death of 2-year-old Wichita boy
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A woman was arrested Thursday in the May death of her 2-year-old son in the latest case involving a Wichita-area child who died despite the involvement of state welfare officials.
Kimberly Compass, 23, is jailed without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder. Her son, Zayden Jaynesahkluah, was found dead at a Wichita hotel on May 31. Sedgwick County prosecutor’s office spokesman Dan Dillon said police plan to present their case Monday and that a charging decision will be made afterward. He said no attorney has been assigned to her. She previously has denied any wrongdoing.
Police spokesman Charley Davidson said in a news release that new information from a regional forensics facility led to the arrest. He did not elaborate. Information on how the boy died has not been released. Davidson said the investigation is continuing.
State Rep. Michael Capps, a Wichita Republican, has said that state welfare officials had previous contact with Zayden’s family.
That makes Zayden at least the ninth child age 5 or younger since 2017 to die in the Wichita area under suspicious circumstances, several of them after state welfare officials had contact with the family. The victims include 3-year-old Evan Brewer, whose body was found encased in concrete after his relatives repeatedly reported abuse. His mother was convicted of second-degree murder and her boyfriend of first-degree murder. Welfare officials have made several staffing changes in the wake of the deaths.
Mike Deines, a spokesman for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said in a written statement that the agency is wrapping up its investigation and will release a summary of its involvement with Zayden if it determines that his death was the result of abuse or neglect.
Zayden’s father, Caleb Jaynesahkluah, told The Wichita Eagle previously that he wanted to see someone held accountable. He and Compass were longer romantically involved and did not live together at the time of Zayden’s death.
“It’s really hard,” he said. “I just know that no matter how it happened, it’s wrong. If it could have been prevented in any way, shape or form, I want to know why it wasn’t.”
Compass told the Eagle last month that she believed Zayden’s death was the result of a medical condition. He had been hospitalized two weeks earlier after having a seizure, she told the newspaper in a Facebook message. She also said that Department of Children and Families reports were “investigated by multiple people and closed for being unsubstantiated.”
This story has been corrected to reflect there have been at least nine deaths of children 5 or younger since 2017 rather than 2018.