It appears drug addiction, inattentive parenting and a fugitive with a violent past all played into the death of a 2-year-old Spokane girl on Tuesday.
Detectives say someone hit or kicked Adalynn Hoyt so hard in the stomach that she bled to death internally.
Investigators are now searching for 32-year-old Jason J. Obermiller in connection with the child's death.
Spokane Police officers and Spokane County Sheriff's deputies responded to the suspected drug house near 55th and Freya on Thursday morning, thanks to a Good Samaritan who thought she saw Mr. Obermiller returning to the scene of the crime and called 911.
As you might expect, that call drew a speedy response from both city and county cops and gave detectives another chance to further their homicide investigation.
It's been three days since Adalynn Hoyt was found dead inside the upper South Hill home. Ever since then, sheriff's detectives have been looking for Obermiller, the man who was supposed to babysitting the child.
So it would not be surprising if Obermiller had returned to the scene of the crime Thursday morning.
“This morning there was a tip called in, there was some suspicious activity at the residence,” said Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Gregory.
When the tipster saw a white man park a black Suburban in an apartment complex across the street, then walk to the house, she thought it might be the suspected killer.
“Because I had not seen his face, I saw the back of him,” said the tipster, who doesn't want to be identified. “He looked like he possibly [sic] have been the suspect because I did see a picture the night before watching the news.”
Sheriff's deputies brought in a patrol dog to search the home for Obermiller, but didn't find him. But, the emergent circumstances did give detectives another chance to check IDs and come up with some new names of people who might know where Obermiller is.
“It's not uncommon to have people to hide from us and on a very important case like this we wanted to make sure all avenues were checked,” said Deputy Gregory.
Witnesses say the dead child's mother was out partying when she left her daughter with a guy who's been convicted and did prison time for domestic violence and assaults.
Important, because no adult in the home, including Adalynn's mother, checked on the toddler for 13 hours. By then, the little girl had been dead so long that lividity and rigor mortis were present. Experts say that type of child neglect goes hand in hand with kids living in drug houses.
“[Officers] located several ounces of methamphetamine and some heroin and also a handgun,” said Deputy Gregory.
No arrests have been made related to this child's death so far, but they are likely in the works. Not only the man who allegedly murdered Adlynn, but perhaps criminal mistreatment charges for other adults who were supposed to be protecting her.
Three other children who live inside the home are all with relatives or Child Protective Services. CPS has been involved with the victim's family during the past 12 months, and now CPS will be performing a fatality review here. That review could impact the mother's child custody rights in the future.