MONROE COUNTY, Mo. — A resident of Mexico was jailed after an investigation was conducted following a child abuse hotline call last month.
According to a probable cause statement, an unidentified woman was interviewed on January 18 after the Monroe County Children’s Division received the report of child abuse. When David Kevin Elzea, 55, was initially arrested on January 12, he was charged with assault in the third degree.
The unidentified subject went into details with the interviewing officer about what transpired that day and during past incidents with the accused man. The statement indicates the woman disclosed that on the day of his arrest, Elzea picked up a shotgun and threatened to shoot her. She told the officer that her children were present when this happened and they were fearful for her life and their own. Later in the investigation, Captain Joe Colston, Jr., seized the firearm used to threaten the woman.
Other incidents were described in great detail during the interview. The woman told officers that sometime between January and May of 2015, Elzea became angry and pointed a long gun at her and threatened to “shoot” her. She said his behavior was erratic and he proceeded to turn the gun on himself and kneel on the floor. She said she became worried and attempted to take the firearm from Elzea when it discharged in the family home.
The woman told officers that incident happened in the dining room of the home and that at least two children were present when the gun went off. Forensic interviews conducted with three kids confirmed these details, as well as with an unrelated, unnamed person who was at the home when the altercation took place. After Elzea was arrested and read his Miranda rights, he admitted to “accidentally” firing the gun in the family home.
Upon later investigation at the scene, Capt. Colston observed a hole in the wall near the ceiling which appeared to be caused by a shotgun slug, the trajectory of which appeared to be in close proximity to a childrens’ upstairs bedroom, causing substantial risk of injury or death to the children who were sleeping.
Another alleged incident occurred on May 2, 2016 where Elzea had been drinking and became agitated. The unidentified woman described an altercation where Elzea allegedly hit her and a child. She told investigators that he had hit the child so hard that Elzea broke his hand. The child, in a separate interview, told investigators that she intervened in an altercation between her mother and father and was struck three times on the top of the head by her father. The girl added that she had large whelps on her head for weeks. The investigators were provided with medical statements documenting Elzea’s treatment for a hand injury on May 2, 2016.
She went on to report another altercation on or about January 5 of this year, when Elzea became angry with his juvenile son and allegedly choked him with a phone charger. Another child told investigators that the juvenile Elzea allegedly choked had severe red markings on his neck after the incident.
About five days later, Elzea allegedly choked his five year old daughter after she spilled noodles on the floor. Both the girl and her mother reported that Elzea became angry and choked her “until her eyes bulged,” and the girl told investigators she was gagging on her noodles.
About three years ago, an incident occurred where the woman and two of her children were told by Elzea to leave the family home. She reported to investigators that Elzea chased them with a vehicle and was driving erratically, striking objects in the yard with his car. She went on to say that Elzea “beat her to the ground.”
After two of the children tried to intervene, Elzea allegedly grabbed one of them by the throat and threatened to kill him. The child then ran and locked himself in the basement of the home, and Elzea attempted to gain entry with a butcher knife. Upon further examination at a later date, an officer observed a hole in the door with scratch marks consistent with being caused by a knife. The other child involved described an event, believed to be related, where Elzea attempted to run over him in a car.
Nearly all of the children interviewed told officers that Elzea would regularly strike them on the bottom or back with a board he kept under his bed for punishment. At least two of the kids reported that the board had been thrown at them on at least one occasion.
David Elzea is charged with three felony counts of domestic assault in the second degree and one felony count of assault in the third degree. He is also facing one felony count each of abuse or neglect of a child, unlawful use of a weapon – discharge into home, armed criminal action, endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk for death or injury in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Elzea is held on a $40,000.00 bond. He was scheduled to appear before a judge yesterday afternoon and asked for a reduction in bail, which was denied by Judge Michael Wilson. He is slated to appear again in a Monroe County circuit courtroom on Tuesday, April 4 at 1:30 p.m.