'He was just a baby, he wasn't protected,' Aunt of boy, 4, found in freezer speaks out

‘He was just a baby, he wasn’t protected,’ Aunt of boy, 4, found in freezer speaks out

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The man accused of killing a four-year-old boy and hiding his body in a freezer could be facing the death penalty, according to a prosecutor in the case.

This comes just less than a day after 35-year-old Brandon Toseland faced a judge and gruesome new details of the injuries 4-year-old  Mason Dominguez suffered were revealed in court.

Mason’s paternal aunt spoke with 8 News Now as the case moves forward.

His aunt Marylee Ruiz is in a very unique position because she is also Toseland’s ex-girlfriend and shares two children with him, but as details emerge in this case it only gets harder to hear what would have gone on because her children were also in the same house. “I was really sad I was hurt because he is an innocent little boy, he was just a baby, and he wasn’t protected,” said Ruiz.

Ruiz was in the courtroom as information was revealed about how her nephew died. “I would have never thought Brandon would be capable of ever hurting any child,” Ruiz said.

The family dynamic is complicated, Ruiz used to date Toseland more than five years ago, but Ruiz is also the sister of Mason’s dad Eli who was married to Mason’s mom.

Eli died in January of 2021, two months later her former sister in law which is Mason’s mom started dating Toseland and moved into his house. 

Mason’s mom told police she last saw her son around December 11th and feared he was dead, according to Stephen Stubs the lawyer for Mason’s mom this is around the time when Toseland would start holding her captive. “I’m not here to undermine anyone’s victimization,” Ruiz said.

However, Ruiz said her kids were also there at the house at the same time and wonders why no red flags were ever raised. “I don’t understand why it went on so long, I saw you multiple times, my kids saw you multiple times,” Ruiz said. ” What is the reasoning for my children and niece and nephew to be put in that type of environment?”

Ruiz said for two months until Mason’s body was found in the freezer her kids would tell her Mason was with his maternal grandmother. “The kids in my heart are the ones who I feel are the victims because of their innocence,” Ruiz said.

Mason’s paternal side will be holding a celebration of life for Mason on Saturday because they were not invited to his funeral.  As for Toseland, he faces 10 charges including murder, kidnapping, and child abuse in the death of Mason and domestic battery against his mother.

A hearing in his case on the death penalty is scheduled for April 15th, his lawyers say Toseland plans on pleading not guilty.

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