A Grand Junction man was arrested in Grants, New Mexico late Thursday night on a warrant charging him for the death of 19-month-old Owen Reak.
According to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Justin Keel was arrested shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Owen Daniel Reak passed away on the eleventh of April while in Montrose. But the sheriff's office says, through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the injuries that caused Reak's death were sustained in Grand Junction.
Keel was the boyfriend of Owen's mother, Amber Reak, a resident of Grand Junction. The arrest affidavit states that, during the night of the injuries, Keel was caring for Owen while Amber was at work.
Multiple family members reported seeing an increasing amount of bruises on Owen during the last two-months of his life; the time Keel began spending time with him, according to police records.
The autopsy report confirmed that Owen died from blunt force trauma of the abdomen. Forensic Pathologist Dr. Benzinger stated it was a "classic child abuse" injury. According to Dr. Benzinger, Owen died of fatal internal bleeding and the injuries occurred within 36-hours of his death.
The time frame of death matched up with the time Owen's mom and Keel were caring for him. His mother had reported hearing a loud "boom" noise while taking a shower and came out to find Keel holding Owen.
Keel said that Owen must have fallen off the bed and he wasn't sure how he got hurt, according to the arrest affidavit. In the hours following, Owen became very sick as his health rapidly began to diminish.
Police say Keel denied to take a polygraph test while being questioned at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
But, due to inconsistencies in Keel's statements and information collected in the investigative interviews, police say there's probable cause that Keel committed the crime.
Keel is being charged with one count of child abuse resulting in death.
He's currently being held in the Cibola County Detention Center in Grants, New Mexico. He's being held without bond until he makes his first court appearance.
Continue to follow KJCT News 8 for more on this developing story.