Fresno Father and Girlfriend Arrested in Child’s Beating Death

Fresno Father and Girlfriend Arrested in Child’s Beating Death

NOTE: Graphic details. Readers may want to proceed with caution.

FRESNO – A 5-year-old boy told police he was in the apartment where his 3-year-old brother was beaten and killed by his father and his father’s girlfriend last week.

Fresno police announced the arrests of Donald Nelson, 27, and Moneesha Camp, 24, in connection to the death of Zion Nelson.

Investigators say the toddler died after being beaten all over his body by Nelson and Camp. An autopsy by the Fresno County Coroner’s Office revealed lumps, cuts, and bruises on the boy’s head, as well as scars on his back from previous beatings. The cause of death was determined to be child abuse.

“This boy’s back, buttocks, thighs, arms, chest and stomach were completely covered with marks, bruises, and cuts. Looking at the photographs of the injuries, it is very apparent that this child had endured a lot of suffering,” said Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Moneesha Camp

Moneesha Camp

Officers had been called in April by the boy’s mother, who wanted them to investigate Nelson for allegedly abusing Zion. Dyer said that although the mother claimed the boy had bruises at the time, officers did not find evidence of abuse at the time.

Officers responded to a 911 call from Nelson on Thursday morning and found Zion naked and wrapped up in a blanket in the back seat of Nelson’s car at Palm and Garland avenues. Nelson told the officers that he had noticed that his son was not breathing while he was driving.

Zion was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where an officer saw many wounds on the boy’s body. When officers questioned Nelson about the injuries, he told them that the boy had wet his pants and had been spanked with a belt as a consequence.

A search warrant served at the apartment shared by Nelson and Camp near Saginaw Way and Thorne Avenue revealed a wire clothes hanger with blood on it that “was used to repeatedly beat this young boy,” Dyer said.

The walls in Zion’s bedroom were spattered with blood and blood was also found on bedding in the master bedroom of the apartment. More than 60 holes were also found in the walls of the apartment, Dyer said.

Zion’s 5-year-old brother was coached by Nelson and Camp to lie to police, but he told investigators that the two had beaten him with cords, a wire hanger and a belt, Dyer said.

The older brother has been placed with protective services.

Read more:

The Fresno Bee: Fresno police: Father, girlfriend charged with murder in death of 3-year-old

ABC 30: Girlfriend of Fresno father also arrested in toddler’s murder

Fox 26: Father Arrested For Death Of Child In Fresno On Thursday

Fresno Father and Girlfriend Arrested in Child’s Beating Death was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Fresno

About Author

Elizabeth Warmerdam

Beth Warmerdam is a freelance journalist based out of Reedley. She graduated from Fresno State in 2004 with a BA in print journalism and has worked for several newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing, Beth enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, trying to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Zachary.