Arizona authorities were called to a residence on Tuesday morning, where a 20-year-old man reported his stepson as unconscious and unresponsive. The man, Johnny Brazell II, claimed the child had been attacked by a dog, presenting a head wound as evidence. Despite immediate paramedic assistance, the boy tragically succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
However, further investigation painted a grim picture that pointed towards child abuse rather than a dog attack. The child’s body was found covered in bruises, including significant ones around his eyes and head, alongside a conspicuous skull fracture. Surveillance footage from the vicinity did not support Brazell’s narrative of a dog attack.
Detectives noted discrepancies in the crime scene, as bloodstains in the child’s bedroom indicated a far more severe incident than the one Brazell had described. The boy’s mother, Lopez, also revealed to police that Brazell had previously disciplined the child severely, even during their time in California. Court documents showed that the couple had lived in the current residence for about six months.
As the investigation unfolded, both Brazell and Lopez gave inconsistent accounts of the alleged dog attack. Brazell later confessed to physically abusing the child, including hitting him with a leather belt and even dropping him headfirst onto a hardwood floor. He demonstrated how he would forcefully swing the boy’s head into a chair corner, admitting that he used greater force than he showed with a doll prop during the demonstration.
Chillingly, it appears that Lopez and Brazell did not call the authorities until the boy stopped breathing. They allegedly conspired to mislead the police, paramedics, and hospital staff about the true nature of the incident. Eavesdropping on the couple’s conversation in the interview room, detectives heard Brazell admitting to Lopez that he had killed the child and their fabricated story was unsuccessful.
Shockingly, neither Brazell nor Lopez displayed any signs of remorse following their arrests. At a press conference, law enforcement confirmed that neither suspect had a criminal record. Both are now facing murder and child abuse charges.
In the aftermath, the Department of Child Safety has taken two other children, a newborn and a 2-year-old, into protective custody from the home. Authorities suspect one of these children to be Brazell’s biological offspring.