A senior airman accused of starving to death his 14-month-old son in his home on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., allegedly dumped the body in a canal on the way to visit a friend.
The woman would later tell investigators Senior Airman Matthew Theurer was in good spirits during his visit to Myrtle Beach, S.C., according to testimony at his Article 32 hearing July 8, the Goldsboro News-Argus reported.
Theurer was charged June 20 with murder, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, child endangerment, obstruction of justice and making a false official statement. Authorities discovered the body of his child, also named Matthew, in garbage bags on a roadside about 100 miles from the base about four weeks after he was allegedly dumped there.
The boy died from severe malnutrition as a result of neglect, an autopsy report from the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said. He weighed about 14 pounds at autopsy, less than he had at 4 months old.
Col. Brian Thompson, the Air Force’s chief senior trial counsel, requested premeditated murder be added to the charges Theurer faces, according to the News-Argus. His defense attorney, Capt. Johnathan Legg, argued the evidence did not support the charge. Ninth Air Force Commander Maj. H.D. Polumbo Jr. will decide what charges, if any, to refer to court-martial.
Theurer’s estranged wife, Amy Theurer, testified during the hearing via phone that she left Matthew with Theurer while she got back on her feet. She said Theurer told her Matthew was going to day care.
According to the autopsy report, Matthew attended off-base day care from last August to November. The child allegedly spent the last months of his life alone for at least 12 hours a day.