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Mother charged in death of 5-year-old Grayson O’Connor, who fell from KCMO apartment building

CorrinneOConnor Mug.jpg
Posted at 2:19 PM, Jan 30, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A mother has been charged in connection to her 5-year-old son's death after he fell 17 stories from an apartment building in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, in late November, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Corrinne O'Connor is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child in connection to Grayson's death.

Nov. 27, 2023

KCMO police were called to an alley near East 10th Street and Grand Boulevard, which is where Grayson'd body was located.

Officers noticed "catastrophic damage" to his head and body, including near his eye, as well as a broken, twisted leg, court documents said.

While emergency medical services personnel attempted to treat Grayson, crews noted his body temperature was cold enough to cause concern.

From the alleyway where Grayson fell, investigators saw an open window on the 17th floor of the building, which was the only open window in the back at the time.

Surveillance video of Grayson's fall showed he hit a covered walkway over the alley before falling into the alley.

Investigators later responded to the apartment unit where Grayson lived and found Corrinne lying in front of the window.

Officers asked Corrinne where her son was, to which she replied he'd "went out the window."

Inside, investigators were met with a filthy scene — feces on the ground in the entryway, food debris and trash piled in a corner, and dried liquid all over the entryway walls.

More feces was found on the floor in the apartment, which appeared to be stamped and flattened into the carpet as if it had been stepped on, per court documents.

Overall, officers noted the unit was dirty and unkempt, with food debris and dirty clothes scattered throughout.

RELATED | Grayson O’Connor’s death prompts Missouri lawmaker to call meeting with Department of Social Services

In the area near the window where Grayson fell, investigators found a "copious" amount of chocolate on the sill and exterior ledge of the window.

The chocolate was smeared with what appeared to be child imprints.

Chocolate was also found on the exterior ledge of the window, dripping over the edge to the ground 17 stories below.

Concerns regarding Corrinne

Detectives made note of the fact Corrinne didn't report her son had fallen. Instead, police were notified by someone walking out of the basement of the apartment.

Neighbors spoke up in the days after Grayson's death about concerns regarding Corrinne. One even told KSHB 41 reporter Charlie Keegan they filed a report two years prior with Missouri's Department of Social Services on Grayson’s behalf.

Window stops

Investigators spoke with an apartment manager at the Grand Boulevard Lofts, where Corrinne lived, who notified police the window was fully open.

She said it should be impossible because every window has two stops that prevent it from opening past a few inches.

She also said that if the stops had been removed, it would've been done so purposely.

In an eviction notice filed by Grand Boulevard Lofts against Corrinne, the apartment alleged the "window stops had been carelessly removed" by Corrinne. The notice also stated her unit was "uninhabitable by the State due to very poor sanitary conditions."

Last Thursday, Corrinne missed a hearing regarding the eviction filing.

Court proceedings

Corrinne was booked into the Jackson County Detention Center on Thursday, Jan. 25.

She is due in court for a bond review hearing on the child endangerment charge on Monday, Feb. 5. Prosecutors requested she be held on a $100,000 cash bond.

In December, prosecutors said they were mulling filing charges in the case.

On Dec. 14, 2023, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker filed the charge against Corrinne, but a court issued an order to seal the case until she was taken into custody.

Peters Baker released a statement on Grayson's death Tuesday after the charges were unsealed.

"Anytime a child is injured, the criminal justice system is expected to address harm," Peters Baker said in part. "It is our hope that the judicial process will find appropriate outcomes for the harm caused."

She said the seal prevented her office from confirming the case was under review and charges had been filed.