Dozens of volunteers answered the call from a frantic mother to look for her 2-year-old son who was missing and possibly kidnapped. Days later, the police arrested her boyfriend and charged him with first degree murder.
Tayler Nicholson stood next to her boyfriend on Friday speaking to KVVU-TV about her missing son, Amari Nicholson, and said that he had been missing for more than two days at that time.
"Panic mode, freaking out, crying, screaming, just, my baby's gone!" she said, describing her emotions.
Nicholson said that she was in Colorado, taking care of her mother after a dog attack, on March 5 when she was notified that her son was missing.
She had left him with her boyfriend at a hotel near the strip in Las Vegas. She said that Rhodes considered her son his stepson.
Terrell Rhodes told KVVU that a woman who said she was the child's aunt had knocked on their door just after 6 a.m. and said she was supposed to take the boy.
"It was a woman saying that she was her baby daddy's sister," said Rhodes, motioning to Nicholson. "And she said she was there to pick up my stepson."
Rhodes claimed that while he called Nicholson to ask if he should release the child to the woman, she took him and ran off.
"This whole story sounds confusing, it sounds like we're lying, it sounds like, it's a whole, just a big confusion," said Nicholson.
She asked that people share social media posts about her son so that they could hopefully find him. Dozens of volunteers canvassed the area for days looking for the child.
Here's the interview with Nicholson and Rhodes:
Mother of missing 2-year-old boy believes son was kidnapped www.youtube.com
Nearly a week later, Rhodes was taken into custody and arrested for first degree murder.
Police said that Rhodes submitted to a polygraph test and allegedly confessed to killing the two-year-old. He reportedly said that the child had urinated in his clothing several times and that Rhodes hit him as a punishment with a closed fist between 3 and 4 times.
"At some point, Amari turned blue and purple in the face and stopped breathing," the arrest report said.
Police claimed that Rhodes had acted suspiciously and that they had discovered blood on a bedroom wall. They also found soiled kids' clothing inside a plastic bag in a closet.
The next day, police found the boy's remains just a few yards from the hotel where they had been staying. They said he was beaten to death and "left in a dumpster."
TAKEN INTO CUSTODY: Las Vegas police shared video as Terrell Rhodes was arrested in the death of missing toddler Am… https://t.co/jlhHWICXdJ— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5 Las Vegas)1620779501.0
Police also said that at one point during his arrest, Rhodes allegedly fought with police and was able to grab one of their guns.
"While the arrest was taking place," said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Richard Meyers, "Terrell Rhodes chose to fight with police officers, and during the course of that fight was briefly able to retrieve an officer's firearm."
Carri Howard, Amari's grandmother, told KVVU-TV that she believed Rhodes was physically abusive to her daughter and Amari, but that Child Protective Services didn't want to step in. She said she had photographs of bruises and other signs of abuse.
Rhodes was held without bond.
Here's more about the disturbing incident:
Clark County DA on Amari Nicholson homicide: 'He was beaten to death and left in a dumpster' www.youtube.com