Stepfather arrested, charged with first-degree murder in Arkansas toddler’s death

Posted at 10:14 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 00:14:10-05

VAN BUREN, Ark. - Police arrested a man Wednesday and charged him with first-degree murder in relation to the death of his stepdaughter, according to KFSM.

Olivia Soto lived with her mother and her mother's new husband, Jordan Shreeve.

Shortly after Soto celebrated her second birthday last November, Shreeve called 911, hung up and called back, according to a police report. He reportedly told the dispatcher to send an ambulance to his home address and hung up.

Investigators said Shreeve was not home when they arrived. Olivia and her mother were the only ones home.

Police said the mother led them down a hallway to a room where the toddler was unresponsive on a bed. Police performed CPR until EMS arrived to provide further treatment.

Shreeve arrived at the home about an hour later, police said. He told investigators he left to take a friend home.

Inside the home, police found blood on the couch, in the hallway and on a dresser in the bedroom. Reports said Olivia had bruising on the left side of her face.

For three months, police continued gathering information. Neither Shreeve nor Olivia's mother told police what happened before the 911 call.

"We actually had one of our investigators go the funeral and attend and the mother never showed up to that funeral," Van Buren Police Sargent Jonathan Wear said.

Police said she and Shreeve were in Michigan at the time.

On Feb. 15, Shreeve and the woman showed up at the house where Olivia died with a moving truck. Police said the couple was planning on moving their belongings to Michigan, where police believe Shreeve has family.

Investigators found Shreeve at a Van Buren motel and arrested him on a first-degree murder charge.

"He's in there [in jail] today actually on a $1 million bond," Wear said.

The child's mother has not been charged with a crime, but Wear said that could change.

"There are some things still being done in the case so that is always a possibility in the future," Wear said.

An autopsy report stated that Olivia died by the actions of a person, not from falling out of her crib like her mother told police.

"Definitely the big break in the case is him returning here to Van Buren so we could locate him and place him under arrest," Wear said.