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Man charged in fatal shooting of his toddler's mother

Man charged in fatal shooting of his toddler's mother

January 11th, 2018 by Associated Press in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man has been charged with fatally shooting the mother of his 2-year-old son, who was found unharmed near her partially nude and bound body.

Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Joseph Gonsalez, 23, is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and child endangerment in the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth Richards.

Richards was killed Saturday after she dropped off the boy with Gonsalez, who lived with his parents, a police detective wrote in the probable cause statement. Gonsalez was found about 3 miles away with a gunshot wound to his abdomen and wearing no pants or shoes. Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said in an email that investigators think he may have shot himself, but they're not certain yet.

Gonsalez's parents weren't home when Richards arrived with their grandchild but rushed back when Gonsalez's mother returned a call to her son, heard him arguing with Richards and then what she believed was a gunshot. In a front room, they found Richard's body with her child on the floor near her, the probable cause statement said. Snapp said the child wasn't injured.

Gonsalez' mother told police she removed duct tape from Richard's mouth. The detective wrote Richards' wrists and arms also were bound in duct tape and she was naked from the waist down. A firearm and spent rounds also were found in the home.

Video surveillance showed Gonsalez purchasing the duct tape at a Home Depot the day before, the probable cause statement said.

Prosecutors are requesting Gonsalez be jailed on a bond of $250,000 cash when he is released from the hospital. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.