34-year-old mother-of-four and her toyboy charged with murder in the strangulation death of her two-year-old
Rebecca Thomas and Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman, 23, were arrested in Nov 23 on charges of murder and child endangerment
Paramedics found one of Thomas’ twin sons, Kash, bruised and bleeding from his mouth inside their home in Sacramento, California on Oct 13, last year
Investigators concluded the toddler did not die of natural causes, arrested Thomas and Montgomery-Gutzman in November
Sacramento CPS files reveal that Thomas has a long history of child neglect and drug use, including during pregnancy
After a 2014 citation CPS took all of her four children into protective custody, she was ordered to undergo counselling and enrol in parenting classes
CPS returned the twins into her care in May 2016, five months later, her son was found dead
Defendants face charges of murder and child endangerment
Rebecca Thomas charged with murder in the strangulation death of her 2-year-old son, Kash, who was found bruised and bleeding from his mouth in October
A mother-of-four from Sacramento, California and her boyfriend have been charged with murder in the strangulation death of the woman’s two-year-old twin son.
Rebecca Thomas, 34, and Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman, 23, were arrested in late November, more than a month after Kash Thomas died inside the couple’s home in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.
At around 5.30pm on October 13, 2016, police responded to the 8000 block of Auburn Boulevard for a report of the two-year-old boy not breathing.
Efforts to revive Kash Thomas were unsuccessful and he was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Couple charged: Rebecca Thomas, 34 (left), and Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman (right), 23, of California, have been charged with murder in the strangulation death of the woman’s 2-year-old son, Kash, who was found bruised and bleeding from his mouth in October.
Sacramento County Child Protective Services has said the toddler’s cause of death was strangulation and he also had a second-degree burn, possibly caused by a cigarette, underneath his foot.
Following a five-week investigation, which entailed numerous interviews and the gathering and examination of evidence in the case, police came to the conclusion that Kash did not die of natural causes.
On November 23, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Rebecca Thomas and her live-in boyfriend, Montgomery-Gutzman, who were booked into the Sacramento County Jail on counts of murder and child endangerment.
Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman has also been charged with murder in the strangulation death of his girlfriend’s toddler
CPS files reviewed this week by The Sacramento Bee detail a history neglect of both twin boys. Born prematurely at 32 weeks on Christmas Eve in 2014, they spent several months in the hospital undergoing treatment for multiple medical problems, including trouble swallowing and breathing.
Just three days after Rebecca Thomas was allowed to take her twin boys home in April 2015, she was accused by CPS of failing to properly care for the newborns.
At the time of their discharge from the hospital, Thomas was instructed to feed the babies using a special tube in a calm environment, but a nurse witnessed the mother bottle feeding one of her sons in the elevator.
In the wake of that incident, all of Thomas four children were taken into protective custody and the mother was ordered to undergo counselling and enrol in parenting classes.
The state returned the twins into Thomas’ care in May 2016. Five months later, her son Kash was found dead.
According to CPS files, paramedics who responded to the family’s home in Citrus Heights on October 13 found the toddler with bruises on the side of his face and bleeding from his mouth.
They attempted to revive Kash, performing CPR on his body. The toddler was taken to a local hospital but later was pronounced dead.
The couple was arrested and booked into the Sacramento Main Jail on Nov. 23 and are ineligible for bail. Prosecutors have said that Thomas and her boyfriend assaulted the child with great force.
A weeping Thomas vehemently denies harming her son, in a jailhouse interview last month., emphasizing that she was not guilty of the charges against her.
“I love my children,” she said.
The woman’s history of interactions with CPS stretches back to at least 2009 and includes nine separate reports documenting alleged neglect and heroin use around her two older children, one of whom was eventually placed with other caregivers.
In 2012, CPS learned that Rebecca Thomas had tested positive for marijuana while delivering a baby.
According to documents, Thomas admitted to smoking marijuana throughout her pregnancy, allegedly to help her cope with nausea, and also tested positive for methamphetamine, opiates and methadone seven months before giving birth.
According to the toddler’s grandmother, Brenda Griffin, her 21-year-old son Scott Plots, is the father of the twins.
Griffin, a Clinton, Iowa, resident, found out about the toddler’s death after discovering a news article about Thomas’ arrest, according to his mother.
Plots and Rebecca Thomas briefly dated Thomas sometime in 2013 and 2014 while he was visiting his father in California, she said. He returned to Iowa before the twins were born but occasionally received photographs of the two boys.
“He’s very upset about it, to find out about it the way he did,” Griffin said. She and her son were searching for answers regarding Kash’s death and hoped to gain custody of the surviving twin at the time, especially since a paternity test has proven he was the biological father of the boys.
Griffin said they did not know where the surviving twin was or what his health was like. Griffin said she knew very little about the boy’s previous medical history, Thomas or her family.