Las Vegas Sun

November 19, 2017

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Mother arrested in year-old son’s death 19 months ago


Las Vegas Metro Police Department

Estegenet Welday

A woman whose 1-year-old son died more than a year ago has been arrested in connection with his death, Metro Police said Friday.

Etsegenet Welday, 39, was arrested Thursday at Metro Police headquarters, but a police spokesman didn’t immediately know the circumstances of the arrest. Welday has been charged with single counts each of murder and child abuse and neglect with substantial bodily harm, according to a criminal complaint.

Welday's son, Noah Behre, died March 22, 2011, shortly after his mother dialed 911 to report the boy was not breathing. A responding paramedic found the boy "cold to the touch and his lips were blue," according to an arrest report. Behre was pronounced dead at University Medical Center.

The Clark County Coroner's Office ruled both the cause and manner of the boy’s death undetermined, officials said.

Police allege Welday lied about the chain of events that culminated in her seeking emergency help for her son, according to the following details released in a warrant for her arrest:

Welday told investigators her son started vomiting the morning in question, so she took him to a UMC Quick Care facility, where a nurse allegedly checked his vitals and released him.

The toddler continued vomiting at home when he and his older sister were playing with water in a bedroom and after he ate McDonald's chicken nuggets, Welday told police.

Meanwhile, the tenant below Welday's apartment complained to management about significant amounts of water leaking into her unit from the ceiling.

Welday allegedly told her downstairs neighbor and landlord that she "poured eight to 10 glassed of water" over her ill son's head to cool him.

At Welday's apartment, detectives observed water saturation in a bedroom and bathroom, including standing water on a tile floor.

Detectives also found a plastic bag buried under garbage on the patio. The bag contained wet clothes consistent with the boy's size.

When confronted about their discovery, Welday initially denied they were her son's clothes, then repeatedly said, "I don't kill my son. I love him."

In addition, Welday told investigators her son didn't die "over there," motioning to the flooded rooms in her apartment.

Investigators asked Welday if she knew how her son died. "I didn't do anything on purpose," she told them.

Further investigation revealed Welday had never appeared at the Quick Care facility, according to the medical center's employees. They also told police they would never release a patient without an examination by a doctor.

The warrant for Welday's arrest was issued Jan. 6. On Thursday, Welday was booked into the Clark County Detention, where she remains without bail.

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