Crime & Courts

Autopsy: Toddler found bound in pajamas died of dehydration and malnutrition

A toddler found bound in pajamas and lying face down in his crib in April died from dehydration and malnutrition, according to the boy’s autopsy report.

The coroner’s office ruled 2-year-old Zaiden Javonovich’s death a homicide, the report says. His mother, 22-year-old Brandi Marchant, and his father, 28-year-old Patrick Javonovich, are facing murder and child abuse charges in connection with his death. The couple is also facing charges over the condition of Zaiden’s 4-month-old brother, who was found in poor health when police went into the family’s south Wichita trailer home on April 11.

Zaiden’s autopsy report says he was 31 inches tall and weighed 6,800 grams — about 14.9 pounds — when his body was examined at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center on April 12. According to the report, his weight — about half that of a typical 2-year-old — ranked below the third percentile for his age. That means he was lighter than more than 97% of 2-year-olds.

Zaiden’s brain tested positive for methamphetamine, the report says, but there was no evidence of other substances or drugs in his body.

The document also notes signs of possible abuse including abrasions to Zaiden’s lips and nose. It says that the way his body was found — pajama sleeves knotted around his upper chest and tightly swaddled with a blanket — may have led to asphyxia, a condition significant enough to have contributed to his death.

Police went to the trailer park where Zaiden’s family lived, 4560 S. Hydraulic, on April 11 to talk to Marchant and Javonovich after a neighbor called 911 to report a fight between the couple. Police talked to the couple outside of their trailer and went inside to check on the boys only after one of the parents mentioned having children.

An officer found Zaiden dead and his infant brother in critical condition.

A court document released in the parents’ criminal cases says Marchant told police investigators that she would bind the boy’s arms inside of his clothes to keep him from crawling out of his crib while she was sleeping. The document says she told police that she put Zaiden face down in his crib the evening of April 10 and went to bed several hours later, at 6 a.m. on April 11.

She told police she slept all day without getting up to check on Zaiden or his 4-month-old brother. The brother was also underweight at eight pounds, injured and so malnourished that he couldn’t control his head or keep a normal body temperature when police found him. She told police she didn’t know Zaiden was dead.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families had been involved with the family since Zaiden was 8 months old but substantiated none of the abuse and neglect allegations.

Records show the agency closed its last case involving the family on Jan. 14, less than three months before Zaiden died.

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