Police arrest suspect in death of 2-year-old boy

Long Beach police on Sunday arrested a man they believe intentionally assaulted a 2-year-old boy and caused his death in the parking lot of a liquor store on Daisy Avenue near Ninth Street six months ago.

Officials initially thought the boy died from a medical emergency, but the recent release of the autopsy report revealed the cause of death was intentional blunt force trauma to the head, police said. They started investigating his death as a murder and asked the public for help in finding the suspect last week.

Detectives on Sunday identified and arrested 32-year-old Charles Edward Davis Jr. in Inglewood on suspicion of murder and assaulting a child resulting in death. He is being held on a $2 million bail. Police believe Davis is an acquaintance of the victim’s mother.

The boy has been identified as 2-year-old William Meeks III from Long Beach.

“During their investigation, detectives learned the suspect and the victim were alone inside a parked vehicle in the 900 block of Daisy Avenue when the assault took place,” police said. “When authorities arrived on scene victim Meeks was in the arms of a Good Samaritan who was attempting to render medical aid.”

Davis was still with Meeks when paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital. The boy died two days later on June 16, 2019.

Detectives will present their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney in the upcoming week and they “strongly urge” anyone with information on this incident to contact Detectives Benjamin Vargas, Mark Mattia and Donald Collier at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 1-800-222-8477 or visiting www.LACrimeStoppers.org.

Police now suspect murder in 2-year-old’s death last year

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.