LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 4-year-old Las Vegas boy found deceased in a freezer had undergone months of reported abuse at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend and was taken out of school to avoid teachers seeing his injuries, documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team said.
Brandon Toseland, 35, is accused of killing Mason Dominguez. Police arrested Toseland on Feb. 22 after Mason’s mother was able to sneak messages into her 7-year-old daughter’s shoe.
A grand jury indicted Toseland last week on 10 charges, including murder, child abuse, kidnapping and domestic violence.
Photos the I-Team obtained Monday show inside the garage and the freezer where police said they found the little boy.
Dominguez’s body was discovered inside Toseland’s northeast valley garage concealed in a trash bag in a freezer. Detectives believe Mason had been there for at least 10 weeks and that a large hole in the backyard may be a potential grave, the 8 News Now I-Team first reported.
Mason’s mother said she and her two children moved into Toseland’s home in March 2021. The home is located on Saddle Brook Park Drive, near the intersection of Carey Avenue and Lamb Boulevard in the northeast valley. Toseland’s two children from a previous relationship also lived in the home, but were not there all the time due to their mother having shared custody, documents said.
Toseland and Mason’s mother would often share their bed with all the children, grand jury transcripts indicated. At times, the children would sleep in bedrooms with the doors locked. Toseland was the only one with the key, Mason’s mother said.
Mason’s mother told Metro police she had not seen Mason since Dec. 11 and feared he might be dead. In grand jury transcripts released late last week, the boy’s mother said Toseland would not let her leave the home they shared alone after he told her Mason was deceased.
Court documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team in February said Toseland told his girlfriend that Mason was ill in early December. He said he found him unconscious and that she could not see the boy’s body.
According to Mason’s mother, Toseland told her her son was dead on Dec. 17. Toseland told Mason’s mother he had woken up in the middle of the night to Mason not breathing.
“He just said that they would see that he has bruises on him and he’d get charged for murder so he chose not to call for help,” Mason’s mother told the grand jury, adding Toseland had total control over her phone and social media.
In court last week, prosecutors said Dominguez’s body had several injuries, including to his small intestine. Mason also had a cut to his left eye, bruises to his face, and abrasions on his arms, stomach and head, prosecutors said. The Clark County coroner’s office has not ruled on his official cause of death.
Mason’s mother told police and the grand jury that she was frequently handcuffed or locked in a room after learning her son was deceased. Toseland never revealed to Mason’s mother that the boy’s body was in a freezer in the garage, she said.
When police arrested Toseland in February after a traffic stop, officers noticed a set of handcuffs where Mason’s mother was sitting in the passenger seat. Toseland was also in possession of her phone, documents said.
“He would control when I can go anywhere, what stores I can go to, what I can spend my money on,” Mason’s mother told the grand jury about her life in the 10 weeks between her son’s death and Toseland’s arrest.
Grand jury transcripts also reveal Mason’s mother removed her son from his pre-kindergarten program in September 2021.
“He forced me to withdraw him from school,” Mason’s mother said about Toseland. “He told me that the school would think that he might be being abused because he had bruises every once in a while from falling and that they were going to think something more.”
In one incident reported to the grand jury, Mason’s mother said Toseland spanked him with a rubber spatula while he was potty training.
“The only time that I knew of that he physically spanked my son, my son was on the toilet, I got him off the toilet and I seen that his butt was bruised and had little lines on it and when I went upstairs to our room I seen in the closet that there was a rubber spatula.” Mason’s mother said. “He felt like I babied my son too much and that boys, they’re supposed to be tough.”
Mason’s mother said she had confronted Toseland about the alleged abuse.
“We got into a big argument because he knew that that was crossing the line for me, that you don’t put your hands on my kids, and he was very distraught when I confronted him about it and he was just apologizing over and over again and saying that he took it too far, he didn’t know how hard he was spanking him since he was using the spatula,” she said.
Police were alerted to the home after being contacted by Clark County School District Police when the 7-year-old girl brought a note to her teacher that her mother was being held against her will and did not know what happened to her younger child.
Toseland had previously faced domestic violence charges and was ordered to attend counseling, records obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team said.
On Feb. 20 and Feb. 21, Toseland allowed the mother and daughter to sleep together. The mother then told her daughter she was going to give her “important notes” to give to her teacher. On Feb. 22, the mother hid the notes in her daughter’s sock, prompting the teacher to call police.
Prosecutors said they are considering the death penalty.
If you or someone you know is living with domestic violence, you can reach out for help by contacting SafeNest. You can call or text 24/7 to a confidential hotline phone number (702) 646-4981.