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Prosecutor: Jefferson City boy died from suffocation

September 4, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 4-year-old Jefferson City boy will remain in jail without bond while awaiting trial.

Cole County Circuit Judge Cotton Walker on Friday denied a request for bond for Quatavia Givens, who is charged in the death of 4-year-old Darnell Gray.

Givens pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree murder, child abuse, child endangerment and abandoning a corpse.

A grand jury indictment released Friday said Darnell died by suffocation, KMIZ-TV reported. Authorities have also said he suffered blunt force trauma before his death.

Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson said the suffocation information was based on new evidence.

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Givens reported the boy missing on Oct. 25, 2018, and told authorities he might have been abducted, prompting several searches before his body was found about a week later.

Givens was initially charged with second-degree murder and had been out on bond. She was arrested in St. Charles after charges were upgraded in August.