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Parents of non-verbal special-needs two-year-old arrested for murder after child’s burnt body found

The parents of a special needs two-year-old in California have been arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Briseida and Sukhjinder Sran were taken into custody on Friday morning, Madera police announced in a news conference.

Chief Dino Lawson said detectives served an arrest warrant at around 7:15am at the home of Thaddeus’ parents and arrested Briseida and Sukhjinder Sran.

Lawson added that both were taken into police custody for murder. 

Their home had been searched shortly after the body of their son, Thaddeus Sran, was found in a rural area of Madera County

His body had been burnt, ABC30 reported. 

The little boy, who was non-verbal and had a feeding tube, was reported missing by his parents on July 15.

Thaddeus, who was born prematurely, had only recently learned to walk and still mostly crawled. 

He was last seen wearing a red shirt with Spider-Man pants over a diaper.  

Police said on Tuesday that Thaddeus’ parents had stopped cooperating with them in the investigation.

‘Unfortunately, Thaddeus’ parents stopped cooperating early on in the investigation,’ the police said. 

‘We believe their assistance in this case would be helpful. 

‘We are hopeful that they will resume cooperating with Madera Police Department detectives and help us to locate Thaddeus.’ 

Roger Nuttal, an attorney for the family, said the police forced the family to stop cooperating.

‘They were cooperative until law enforcement became overtly accusatory,’ he said.

Police say the couple had a baby girl that died in 2015.

Nuttal said the baby was born prematurely and was in the hospital for several months until the parents were able to bring her home, but she ultimately died from SIDS.

‘There was an investigation done and we have the medical records attesting the fragile condition of the baby, and that case was closed. There were no charges,’ he said. 

‘These are good people.

‘I venture to say they weren’t involved in illegal behavior in regards to their baby,’ he said. 

Thaddeus was last seen at 10pm on July 14 at his family’s home in the 800 block of C street in Madera.​ 

Local police and other agencies, including the FBI, spent days scouring the neighborhood before calling off the search a week ago. 

The family’s next-door neighbor Ermelanto Espinoza told ABC30 in Spanish the Srans had moved into the neighborhood about two weeks before Thaddeus was reported missing. 

Espinoza said during that time he never heard or saw the toddler, or his mother.

‘I don’t think the boy was ever here,’ he said. 

‘I think the alleged abduction was elsewhere because I never saw anything.’

The neighbor, who gets up for work at 3am every morning, also recalled seeing lights turn on two or three times at the Sran residence on July 15.

‘Maybe [the boy] he was sleeping, but someone was up,’ he said.

On Tuesday, dozens of people gathered in Madera for a candlelight vigil for the missing child.

One of the attendees at the event was Sunndeep Sran, a relative of the missing boy, who told ABC30 that she had never met the two-year-old in person and has not heard anything from the boy’s parents in months.

‘They’re really private, and I don’t know why they are not speaking out,’ she said.  

The Sran family announced a $5,000 reward for information on the child’s whereabouts. 

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