Suspected Abuse Leads to Murder Charges

By Lauren Forsythe | 

An Ohio County man is charged with murder, after a toddler dies from severe brain trauma.

Neighbors close to the family say they are in complete shock.

"He was a wonderful kid. He was so sweet. This doesn't seem like reality," says a neighbor who doesn't want to reveal her identity.

The sidewalks of Riverbend Apartments are lined with bicycles.

"There's always kids playing, you know, sitting outside just watching the kids play. A lot of times it just seems so peaceful," she says/

That peacefulness was destroyed, when a 4-year-old collapsed Saturday morning.

The boy later died of a head trauma.

This neighbor has babysat for the boy's mother, Samantha Oakley, 23, several times.

She says it was Jonathan Oakley who was murdered.

Police say Nathan "Wade" Tucker had been watching Oakley's three children late Friday night.

"Owensboro Hospital stated that a 4-year-old juvenile had collapsed at his grandmother's house. Through their course of treatment they realized that this is a pretty serious injury," Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer, Trooper Corey King says.

Jonathan collapsed Saturday morning.

Tucker has been charged with murder, and Oakley has been charged with three counts of abuse for keeping information from police.

But, neighbors say Tucker treated the kids like they were his own.

"Just making sure they are kept up out of the road, send them to bed on time, anything they need you know, he's just always right there to get it for them," neighbor, Renee McKinney, says.

Mckinney says she saw Tucker Saturday morning.

"He was fine. He was his regular easy-going self," she says.

The case is still under investigation.

Oakley's 3-year-old son is being hospitalized with a broken leg.

Both Samantha Oakley and Nathaniel Wade Tucker are in the Ohio County Jail.

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