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Houston Police Department

Suspect Arrested, Charged in Child's Death at 9700 Mesa Drive #214

January 24, 2011 - Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in connection with the death of a child at 9700 Mesa Drive #214 about 10:30 a.m. last Thursday (Jan. 20).

The suspect, Ernest Eugene Oveal, (b/m, DOB: 2-19-85), is charged with injury to a child in the 182nd State District Court.  A photo of Oveal is attached to this news release.

The victim, Ernest Eugene Oveal, Jr., 2, of the above address, suffered head trauma and bruising to his body and was transported to Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital and then to Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Houston police are awaiting autopsy results from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences to determine the toddler's cause of death.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant A.L. Semmelrock and Senior Police Officer C.P. Abbey reported:

The suspect, Oveal, found Ernest Jr. in his bed with a soiled diaper and feces outside his diaper.  Oveal placed his son on a training toilet inside the room and then left the room to tend to his other child.  When he returned, Oveal found Ernest Jr. had thrown feces in the room.  Oveal told police he then retrieved a belt and disciplined Ernest Jr. who became limp and stopped breathing.

The investigation is continuing.

Ernest Eugene Oveal

KJS/JFC  1-24-11
Inc. #008402911  

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.