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Missing 14-Month-Old From Maryland Found Dead in Ohio Creek

Searchers found the body of Cameron Beckford in Big Walnut Creek Wednesday, after his mother allegedly lied about leaving the boy on a doorstep.
Image: Cameron Beckford
Cameron BeckfordFrederick Police Department

The body of a missing 14-month-old Maryland boy was found in an Ohio creek Wednesday after his mother allegedly lied to police that she had left him on a stranger's porch.

Searchers found the body of Cameron Beckford in Big Walnut Creek on Wednesday morning, said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman. Dainesha Stevens has not been charged in the boy's death but on Wednesday she was ordered held on $150,000 bond on related charges of endangering children and tampering with evidence.

Her attorney, Mark Collins, said she made up the story about having left the boy on a doorstep and that she tipped police to the creek where his body was found.

Police began to investigate after Stevens, 24, called 911 on Monday to say a family wouldn't return her 6-year-old daughter after she had agreed to let her go to their house to play with the kids. After police found the girl safe, Stevens told police she and the friend with whom she was staying had left her son on a doorstop "because they could not care for him any longer," according to Columbus police.

It's unclear when the boy died. Stevens was arrested Tuesday on charges she allowed a friend to “violently spank” the boy. She and the male friend traveled from Maryland to Ohio on Dec. 15, after an argument with the child’s father. The friend is being held on other charges. Stevens’ attorney said the made-up story was Stevens’ way of asking for help, and "she's trying to do the right thing."

— The Associated Press