Teenage Portsmouth parents charged for infant son's death after autopsy reveals extensive injuries

Talaysia Nelson and Rocky Ali Mugynei II .png
Posted at 3:32 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 17:02:08-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Disturbing new details shed light on the death of an infant in Portsmouth.

Police arrested and charged 18-year-old Rocky Mugynei and 18-year-old Talaysia Nelson Wednesday with second-degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with their son's death.

Neighbors said they're in disbelief. Willard Wyatt says he thought the child might have fallen or bumped his head when paramedics arrived at the apartment on February 9.

“Both of them were out here crying,” said Wyatt as he described the parents' demeanor last week. “They had him on the floor in the hallway before the paramedics got here, trying to give him CPR.”

EMS responded to an unresponsive infant at the Marsh Landing Apartments off George Washington Parkway, where the boy lived with his parents and paternal grandmother.

The boy died at the hospital the same day, according to charging documents.

An autopsy revealed the boy had bruises on most of his body, including his neck, head and leg, as well as scratches on his arms and cheeks. He also had two separate lacerations on his liver.

The parents reportedly told detectives they left the boy on the couch to take a phone call in another room, and when they returned, the child was unresponsive. They also reportedly told detectives their son was vomiting and not eating the day before, but they didn’t believe it was serious enough to go to the doctor.

Detectives say Nelson told them she never noticed the reported bruising and injuries; however, her mother reportedly showed police messages where she questioned her daughter about bruising she saw on video calls.

Mugynei reportedly told detectives he frequently roughhoused with his son, and that he had been play-wrestling when he performed an “elbow-drop” style move on the boy just a day before he died.

The child's cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

A doctor reportedly told police the injuries on the boy's body could not have happened while playing.