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Stuart Johnson, KSL TV, File

Police: 5-year-old says his mom's attacker chased him with a knife

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Feb 11th, 2019 @ 8:07pm

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WEST VALLEY CITY — The 5-year-old son of a woman who died from a violent attack in her home told police he too had been chased by his mother's attacker.

West Valley police were called to 3292 W. Chester Park Drive (2850 South) about 6:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of an injured woman. Officers arrived to find Belinda Thomas, 46, unresponsive on the floor of the trailer home and not breathing, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

"The female had several wounds to her neck and chest that were consistent with stab wounds," the report states.

Despite lifesaving efforts by officers, the woman died from her injuries.

It was originally reported that the woman's 5-year-old son was the one who called 911. But on Monday, West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said detectives reviewing the matter confirmed the call was made by "another child who lives in the area and had come to the home immediately following the attack on Thomas."

The 5-year-old boy was the only other person in the trailer at the time of the attack, she said. The second child arrived afterward and remained with the 5-year-old while calling 911, Vainuku said. The child then went home and told a parent, who came to Thomas' home, confirmed what had happened and also called 911, she said.


Once officers arrived at the scene, Thomas' son told investigators "that he watched his mother’s boyfriend stab her with a knife," according to the report.

While interviewing the 5-year-old, police say he kept referring to the boyfriend as "Darren."

"The child stated that Darren chased him around the house with the knife and that he was going to kill him," the report states.

The boy told police that he was able to hide in the trailer home and stayed there until the boyfriend left, said Vainuku.

Investigators located and arrested the mother's boyfriend, Darren Fitzgerald Byrd, 50.

Police found Byrd asleep inside Thomas' car in a parking lot at 5370 W. 2350 South and took him into custody, according to the report. He was arrested for investigation of aggravated murder, child abuse, obstruction of justice, domestic violence with serious injury in the presence of a child, making a threat of violence and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

According to court records, Byrd was convicted of three counts of forgery in 1995, two counts of attempted illegal use of a bank card in 1993, and another forgery charge in a separate case in 1993.


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