TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – The couple that had been charged with child endangerment after an infant was found in their east Toledo freezer have additionally been charged with murder.
Kenisha Pruitt, 20, of 2631 Scottwood and Antonio Cervantes, 18, of 5324 Rector were charged with unspecified murder Tuesday. Court records indicate the two are dating and fatally assaulted the unnamed newborn.
Police said the two were moving out of a home they rented on Paine Avenue April 13, when the landlord, a relative of Cervantes, discovered the infant's body and called police. Documents said the death happened Jan. 30. Police could not confirm if the body had been in the freezer since that time or what evidence prompted the murder charges.
A coroner's report released last week stated the child was born alive, but toxicology and microscopic analysis test results were still outstanding. It is also still unclear if the child belonged to Pruitt and Cervantes, as police are still awaiting the results of a DNA test.
Dr. Cynthia Beisser, Lucas County deputy coroner, said the child lived for a maximum of two days.
While test results are still not complete, police felt they could still move forward with murder charges.
"As time's going on and we're getting more evidence, we're keeping in constant contact with the prosecutor's office and the decision was made today to go ahead and take the next step forward, which is to charge them with the murder charges," explained Sgt. Joe Heffernan of the Toledo Police.
Pruitt and Cervantes remain locked up in the Lucas County Jail on $1 million bond and are scheduled to be back in court with a grand jury next week, when an official indictment could come.
A relative of Cervantes said he has been told not to comment.
No one was home at Pruitt's address.
A close family friend said, "It's been really difficult."
She was shocked to hear about what happened because Pruitt and Cervantes seemed like good parents to their 14-month-old child, who is now staying with family.
The friend said family suspected Pruitt may have been pregnant, but she never thought Pruitt would kill a child.
"I just want any of their family to know, on either side, that I'm here for them 100 percent," she said.
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