Just a few hours after 2-year-old C.J. Young was pronounced dead — more than 30 bruises covering his body — his mother, Danielle Young, had a single question for Mesa detective Steve Johnson.
"I’m probably gonna need to go to counseling with Todd, huh?" Young asked, referring to her live-in boyfriend, Todd Stockton, 33. Johnson replied that he didn’t know and he wrapped up the interview a short time later.
Details of the investigation into the toddler’s Aug. 17 death were revealed Tuesday through records released by the Mesa Police Department.
The toddler was found dead inside his North Country Club Drive apartment after a 4-year-old family friend called 911.
The county medical examiner ruled C.J.’s death a homicide from multiple blows. The bruises covered his chest, abdomen, forehead, back and groin. He also had bruising and swelling around his left eye.
No one has been arrested and detectives urge anyone with information to contact the police department at (480) 644-2211.
"Numerous people had contact with C.J. during his final days and at this point, we are unable to establish who caused his death," said Mesa detective Tim Gaffney.
According to the records, the 4-year-old provided a convoluted story, saying four people punched C.J. in the eye before he died, including the live-in boyfriend. Young told police Stockton never hurt her children. "I think he’s very gentle," the 34-year-old said.
Young described her youngest son as happy, but stubborn and sometimes angry. "He hurts himself. He’ll pinch himself, um, pull his hands, hit himself in the head. He learned that from one of my other boys," Young said.
Young attributed the boy’s bruises to the pager she carries on her hip and various slips and falls. She downplayed bruises she said Stockton left while disciplining the boy.
"Todd dearly loved those children and he’s been really hurt by all of this," Ruth Ann Stockton, Todd Stockton’s mother, said.