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Experts talk about child abuse after deaths of 2 children

Posted at 3:42 AM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 14:19:10-04

13 Action News Crime and Safety expert and retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Randy Sutton talked about the two recent unrelated deaths of young children in Las Vegas.

The body of Daniel Theriot was discovered Monday morning.  Less than two weeks ago, police say Dejah Hunt's body was found in a closet at her home.

RELATED: Father speaks out about death of missing boy

"Young children make noise," said Sutton. "Young children don't do what mommy and daddy tell them to do."

Both were 3 years-old. Their moms reported them missing. Soon after, their bodies were discovered and their moms arrested. Police say they were killed less than 2 weeks apart. Tonight on @KTNV - how to spot signs of abuse and hopefully help to prevent tragedy. pic.twitter.com/9nGbGnDbz4

— MAHSA SAEIDI, ESQ. (@MahsaWho) September 4, 2018

Lt. Sutton says, in general, there is a history and pattern of physical abuse in cases like this. 

"Very often, there is alcohol or drugs involved," he said.

Sutton says there is no set profile for accused killers in abuse and neglect cases.

13 Action News also spoke with Sasha DeCania, a local family therapist who has worked with young victims of abuse. 

"It's much more common for small children to be hurt by people around them who have access to them," she said.

If a child you know is being abused, you can get them help. You can reach the Division of Child & Family Services during normal business hours at 702-486-6100. Or you can call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at anytime at 1-800-422-4453 https://t.co/wleyOhpxyX

— MAHSA SAEIDI, ESQ. (@MahsaWho) September 4, 2018

DeCania says stressed parents should seek help.  Meanwhile, the community should look for signs of abuse.  

"If you notice a child who flinches when they're touched, if you notice a child who has... excessive ... bruises or other injuries," she said, "...listen to your gut." 

According to Lt. Sutton, the partner in a relationship will often be aware of the abuse and make excuses for it. 

RELATED: Clark County coroner confirms body found in duffel bag that of 3-year-old girl

If a child you know is being abused, you can get them help. The Clark County Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (702) 399-0081 for urgent or emergency situations. If you have an emergency please call 911. 

Child Protective Services has a hotline statewide, 1-833-803-1183, while in Clark County the number is 702-399-0081 and Washoe County 775-785-8600.

You can also reach the Division of Child & Family Services during normal business hours at 702-486-6100.  Or you can call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at anytime at 1-800-422-4453.