DUNCAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A three-year-old’s death in Stephens County has been ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma. The suspect — 22-year-old Ryan Towell — is facing charges of first-degree murder and child abuse.

The 3-year-old victim, Ely Newsom, is the son of Towell’s girlfriend.

3-year-old Ely Newsom. Image courtesy Caitlyn Billings.

On Thursday at the Stephens County Courthouse, Towell was charged with one count of felony first-degree murder-child abuse and one count of felony child abuse.

Court documents revealed that on Monday while Ely’s mom was at work, Towell called 911 from their apartment in Duncan because Ely was sitting on the toilet unresponsive, “slumped against the wall.”

He told the Duncan Police Department that the day before Ely had wet his pants, and that he had pushed the 3-year-old, causing him to “fall down face first and hit his head.”

The toddler would be flown from a Duncan Regional Hospital to OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center’s trauma center in Oklahoma City where he died on Tuesday. 

Relatives reported that Ely “had a purplish knot on his forehead that was approximately two inches long” and “was covered in bruises.”

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide by blunt force trauma.

“What they’ve been through, what they’ve seen is probably so horrific that it’s going to affect them the rest of their life,” said lead detective Sgt. Layle Baker of Duncan Police Department. “In 31 years of doing this job, it’s probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen.”

He said the pictures of Ely’s injuries were hard to stomach.

“It’s still ongoing, so I can’t describe them,” he said. “All I can tell you is that I don’t ever want to have to see that again in my career.”

A judge set Towell’s bond for $5 million, as Ely’s family continues to mourn the tragic death of their little angel.

Mugshot of Ryan Towell
Courtesy: Stephens County Sheriff’s Office

“They’re wanting justice for Ely and that’s what I’m doing,” Baker said. “I’m his voice. So, I’m going to speak through him, through paper, and through the judicial system and make sure I can get the little man everything he deserves.”

Ely’s mother sent KFOR the following note concerning her boyfriend and late son:

“If I could say anything to him it would be, how could you tell Ely you loved him,” she said. “He had his whole life ahead of him and it was ripped away. I feel depressed and betrayed. All I do is sleep and cry now… I miss my baby more than anything. If I could trade places with him, I would in a heartbeat.”

The second felony charge against Towell for child abuse is for allegedly maliciously pushing Ely’s 6-year-old sibling.

Towell’s next court hearing is on December 5th.