Police charged Belt with murder on Monday after finding the body of James Spoonamore. They also charged him with assault, two counts of kidnapping, and evidence tampering for an attack on the boy’s mother.
Lonnie Belt, 41, is charged with kidnapping and murdering James Spoonamore.
The victim’s mother, Jessica Durham, and Belt were acquaintances.
Lonnie Jay Belt struck the five-year-old in the head multiple times with a metal object
According to the citation, Belt admitted to taking Jessica Durham and her son against their will to a secluded wooded area on Friday morning.
Police say Belt assaulted Duram and pushed her off a cliff, leaving her with significant injuries. Two hikers discovered a severely injured Durham Saturday morning. She is now recovering from broken bones and cuts at a hospital in Lexington.
Belt also admitted to taking the boy to a separate area where he struck the five-year-old in the head multiple times with a metal object.
Belt then left James Spoonamore’s body in a wooded area where State Police found the his body Monday morning, less than a mile from where hikers found Durham.
Jessica Odell’s brother is married to Jessica Durham. She says her brother became worried about his wife and stepson when he returned home from a doctor’s appointment and his family was gone.
“Her cell phone and everything was at home and it’s not usual for her to leave her things at home. He was worried,” Odell said.
“We tried to keep faith that he would be okay and that they would find him okay. From there on out, we just hear what all had happened to Jessica. It was scary because we was thinking if this man would be so bad to do this to her, he would definitely harm him.”
She said the news of her nephew’s death was devastating.
“It was probably one of the hardest things I’d ever be able to hear,” Odell said. “He was the happiest baby you could ever meet.”
Jessica Durham and her son James Spoonamore [photo], were kidnapped by Lonnie Jay Belt who assaulted and left her for dead, before taking off with little James who he proceeded to bludgeon to death
Jessica Durham with her husband David Durham and her son James Spoonamore [photo]
Jessica and David Durham have been married for about four years. The family tells WKYT Jessica is in critical condition at UK Chandler Medical Center following several surgeries and that she is awake.
“We need all the prayers we can get right now.”
Belt’s evidence tampering charge came from his painting over Jessica Durham’s blood at his residence, police said.
Belt is due in court on September 18 for a preliminary hearing.
Friends and family members of the victims are holding a vigil at 8 on Saturday night at Bond Memorial Park in McKee. The family is asking anyone who would like to make a donation to help bury James Spoonamore to make a donation directly to Lakes Funeral Home in McKee, Ky.
There is a parallel gofundme fundraiser by friends to pay for the boy’s funeral.