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Archive for Saturday, January 11, 2003

Three charged in child abuse death

January 11, 2003

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— The leaders of a church and their baby sitter were charged with first-degree murder Friday in Johnson County after authorities determined a 9-year-old boy died in Overland Park, not Kansas City, Kan.

Brian Edgar's adoptive parents, Neil and Christy Edgar, and baby sitter Chasity Boyd were also charged with two counts of child abuse in connection with the treatment of three other adopted children during the fall and early winter of 2002.

An autopsy showed Brian Edgar had been bound and his mouth taped shut before his lifeless body was taken to a hospital Dec. 30.

The Edgars are pastors of God's Creation Outreach Ministry in Kansas City, Kan. The church is affiliated with the Church of God in Christ.

Charges originally filed in Wyandotte County were dismissed Friday. Neil Edgar, 47, and his wife Christy, 46, and Boyd, 19, had been charged with first-degree murder in that county. The Edgars, but not Boyd, also were charged in Wyandotte County with three counts of child abuse in connection with the treatment of their other three children, ages 16, 12 and 9.

Subsequent investigation led officials to believe Brian actually died at a home in Overland Park, in neighboring Johnson County.

The issue of the site of Brian's death was addressed in an affidavit that accompanied a search-warrant document filed Wednesday in Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court. Authorities searched a home in Missouri where they believe some evidence of the crime was burned.

The affidavit says that in his first statement to police, Neil Edgar said Brian died at the couple's home in Kansas City, Kan.

The affidavit says he told police detectives he had given Brian sleeping medication about 10 p.m. Dec. 29 and he took the boy to the hospital early the next morning after finding him unresponsive.

But in a second statement, detectives said Edgar later told them he had bound the boy and "put a sock across the child's mouth using duct tape to secure the sock."

Bond has been set at $2 million each for the Edgars and Boyd.

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