An indictment filed against the mother and boyfriend of a dead toddler also charges the couple with the abuse of two other children who were living with them before the 2-year-old boy was killed.
On Tuesday, the father of 2-year-old Kenny Gamble II, who Sierra Vista Police said died on June 6, 2020, from blunt force trauma, told the Herald/Review that the other youngsters living with murder suspects Alysha Hop and Daniel Foster were two daughters he also shared with Hop.
Kenny Gamble Jr. said the girls, who are 3 and 6 years old, are in the custody of another family member who likely will end up adopting them.
Hop was arrested on Sept. 3 after police said she surrendered. Prior to her surrender, Hop and Foster had been indicted by a grand jury on Aug. 26 for one count of first degree murder and three counts of child abuse — one for each child in the residence, the indictment shows.
The 27-year-old Hop was arraigned on Monday afternoon in Cochise County Superior Court. She pleaded not guilty to all four counts and is being held at the county jail on $1 million bond. Foster is still on the run, police said.
Gamble Jr., meanwhile, said Tuesday that a counselor who was seeing his daughters told him the girls said they had been abused by Foster. The children also told the counselor that Foster had hurt their mother, Gamble Jr. said.
Sierra Vista Police spokesman Corp. Scott Borgstadt said Tuesday that Hop had denied being victimized by Foster. Other family members told police that Foster had, indeed, abused Hop.
A separate indictment, also filed in August, names only Foster and charges him with kidnapping and aggravated assault in a July 2018 incident involving another woman.
The indictment charging Hop and Foster with the murder of Kenny Gamble II and the abuse of his older siblings states the mistreatment of the children occurred between Feb. 28, 2020, and June 3, 2020.
Gamble Jr. said that on Feb. 28 he had taken photographs of bruises on both his younger daughter and on his son. After Kenny Gamble II’s death, the girls were taken from Hop, Gamble Jr. said.
According to Sierra Vista Police, Kenny Gamble II died on June 6, 2020. Initially, Hop and Foster, were considered persons of interest because they were the only ones in the apartment with the youngster the day Sierra Vista Police responded to the residence for a call of a “person not breathing.”
The day police responded to Hop’s Sierra Vista apartment they discovered the boy in his bedroom. At the time, officers administered CPR to the child until paramedics arrived. The toddler was taken to Canyon Vista Medical Center and then to a hospital in Tucson.
Det. Paul Youman said the autopsy report stated the cause of death was hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. The boy also had several scalp contusions and blunt force trauma to the head.
The medical examiner ruled the youngster’s death was not accidental, Youman said.
Youman then referred the case to the Cochise County Attorney’s Office to determine if felony charges would be filed.
Borgstadt said Tuesday that “through the course of the investigation the SVPD developed enough probable cause for the Cochise County Attorney’s Office to seek a grand jury indictment. This was based on the forensic evidence from the autopsy and interviews of family and friends.”
Hop’s next scheduled court hearing is Dec. 17.
Anyone with information regarding Foster’s whereabouts is asked to call Sierra Vista Police, 520-452-7500, or 911.