INDIAN TRAIL, NC (WBTV) - The father of a child who was found dead at an Indian Trail home Sunday was arrested Monday and charged in the toddler’s death.
Alden John Whitehead, 30, is charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse inflicting serious injury in the death of his 2-year-old son, Louis-Charles “Louis” Gilbert Chenier.
Deputies were called to investigate the little boy’s death at a home on Senconee Drive near Potter Road Sunday afternoon. The child’s mother, who officials say lives at another home, arrived at the house to pick up her son when she found him in his room and called police with reports of “cardiac arrest.”
The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials called the death “suspicious” early on in the investigation.
“It’s just a tragic situation and sad situation. Our investigators and everyone who had a part in this are all touched by this,” said Tony Underwood with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
“The death of any person is troubling enough but especially when you have a child involved who really had no chance, who was trusting of those responsible for his care,” said Underwood.
Sources say Louis’ mother is "distraught” and now staying with her parents in Charlotte.
On Sunday, Underwood said there was “no obvious cause of death to us just from a physical examination, but at this point we have to treat it as just a suspicious death.
After Whitehead’s arrest on Monday, officials confirmed an autopsy performed that morning determined Louis died from blunt for trauma.
Whitehead was also arrested Sunday on outstanding warrants for unrelated charges.
Neighbors at the scene said that they knew the father of the child who lived at the home and that their thoughts and prayers were for the child’s mother.
Chenier would have turned three in May, deputies say.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the matter. Whitehead has a pre-trial date set for May 7.