Police in Madera, California announced on Friday that they arrested the parents of Thaddeus Sran, 2, and charged them in connection with his death. Briseida and Sukhjinder Sran were arrested in the morning, said city Police Chief Dino Lawson in a press conference.
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It is unclear what evidence tied the couple to Thaddeus’s death; Lawson would not say. The chief also explained that they did not know the possible motive.
If there is one thing that is publicly clear, however, it is that the defendants had been in friction with police for some time. Officers called out the parents in a statement dated Tuesday involving the disappearance of Thaddeus.
“We are looking into a variety of tips and leads and want the public to know that we appreciate their help in this case,” the statement said, in part. “Unfortunately, Thaddeus’ parents stopped cooperating early on in the investigation. We believe their assistance in this case would be helpful.”
The remains of a child believed to be Thaddeus were found Thursday morning by cadaver dogs in an area west of the city, Lawson said.
But now police say the parents are responsible for murder. There has yet to be positive identification of the remains. An autopsy was scheduled for 2 p.m. local time.
A reporter asked Lawson Friday if an investigation into a daughter’s previous death would be reopened. He explained it was too early to say.
Roger Nuttall, an attorney for the parents, could not be reached as of press time; a staffer at his law firm told Law&Crime that he was scheduling a press conference for 3:30 p.m. local time. The lawyer previously contradicted the police narrative that the parents were not cooperating.
The parents cooperated with law enforcement, Nuttall wrote in a letter obtained by KMPH, but police “became accusatory in their questioning” of the couple. The couple contacted him, and he advised them not to speak without the presence of their attorney. According to this account, the lawyer advised the parents to tell law enforcement that they would only communicate with them when he was present.
“I am advised by the Srans that thereafter, no further effort was made by members of law enforcement to personally speak with them further,” he said. Nuttall maintained the couple remained available to assist in the investigation.
He acknowledged in an interview with The Fresno Bee that he represented Brieseida Sran in a 2015 death investigation over the passing of her daughter. His client was cleared of wrongdoing. Nuttall said the case was “a tragic death of a child who had very serious medical issues.” No charges were filed. The passing was a “crib death,” he said.
“That was a baby that was premature, and she was at Valley Children’s for several months before she came home,” he said. “She was in a rather very fragile condition.”
[Image of City of Madera Police Department]
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