By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
Local authorities are searching for a man who allegedly physically assaulted a four-year-old child — and family members are desperate for any information on where the young child and his mother may be.
“He could have brain damage, we don’t know what kind of injuries he has,” said George Johnson about his young grandson, Jaden Johnson. “That’s what we’re trying to find out.”
Johnson filed a report with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department on Monday after his daughter, Kendra Johnson, 23, and the mother of Jaden, failed to make contact with him as she said she would. George Johnson had seen pictures that allegedly detailed injuries to the four-year-old, including “bruising and redness on the child’s head, face and neck,” according to the sheriff’s department.
“He was beat all up,” said George Johnson. “His little eyes were black, he’d been choked ...”
George Johnson said the pictures were taken on a cell phone by a family member.
The sheriff’s department has issued a warrant for Lemuel Burton, 29, who allegedly assaulted Jaden while drinking alcohol at a residence off Hickory Nut Ridge Road in western Pulaski County.
The alleged assault took place at a relative of George Johnson’s.
Burton’s address is listed as 95 Hickory Nut Ridge Road in Nancy.
“Since the report was made, investigators and family members have not been able to make contact with the child or (Kendra Johnson),” said Pulaski County Sheriff’s Det. Brett Whitaker. “Efforts have also been made to contact Burton for questioning in this investigation.
“Investigators believe all three are together and likely hiding out with family and/or friends in this area,” Whitaker added.
“Whoever’s harboring them could be in trouble too,” said George Johnson. “We just want them to know if they get caught ... they’re going to be in trouble too.”
Burton has been charged with fourth-degree assault. Investigators may also file charges against Kendra Johnson “because she has not come forward to report the child’s injuries,” according to Whitaker.
Those with any information on the location of Burton, Kendra Johnson and Jaden Johnson are asked to contact the sheriff’s department at (606)678-5145.