Weeks after twin boys captured national headlines after they were kidnapped in Ohio, one of them has died. The family, which was thrilled when the infant was located, is devastated by the premature death, saying they are in a “state of shock.”
On the evening of Saturday, Jan. 28, Ky’air Thomas, the 6-month-old baby kidnapped in December and found at the Dayton airport days before his twin brother Kason was found later in Indianapolis, has died in what at least one family member is describing as a feeding accident, as CBS 10 TV reports.
Homicide detectives were notified to investigate the unexpected death of a child, after he stopped breathing in his mother’s care, Sgt. David Scarpitti, a police spokesperson, said. A medical examiner will have an autopsy conducted on Monday, Jan. 30.
Deputy Chief Smith Weir described the boy’s passing as tragic, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
In his short life, Ky’air and his brother Kason have experienced significant trauma. In December they were kidnapped as their mother was making DoorDash deliveries in Columbus, Ohio, and left the two unattended in her car for a split second as she went into a restaurant to pick up an order. In that small gap, authorities say a 24-year-old woman named Nalah Jackson nabbed both the children and the car.
While Ky’air was discovered within a day, Jackson had crossed state lines with his twin, police say. Jackson was apprehended thanks to the help of two civilians, who put on their amateur detectives’ caps and helped officials track down her and the missing boy.
Ky’air’s death comes exactly 39 days after he was brought back to his parents.
Relatives of Wilhelmina Barnett, the twins’ mother, who also goes by the nickname Momo, said the mom was nursing the babies when something started going wrong. Kyair started to choke and eventually stopped breathing, WSYX reports.
“Momo was feeding the babies, and one of them started choking on the milk and that’s what happened,” Booker said, noting she was not there when the accident occurred, but her children were present. “She immediately called 911, trying to do chest compression and CPR things to get the baby back at that time. It was just like an accident that happened from feeding the babies and that was it.”
Kyair was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Investigators also were there, securing information from the family regarding the incident. Detectives say the case is still open and are unable to share more.
On Sunday, Jan. 29, the mother took to Instagram and said her son had a seizure before deleting or suspending her account. In the post, she said, “Please let me grieve, Ky’air, we are nothing without you.”
The aunt wanted people to know the woman has had a rough couple of months but she is also a good mother dealing with the backlash of her decisions.
Wilma Booker, Barnett’s aunt, said, “She’s doing really bad right now.”
“I just want people to know that Momo is a really good mom,” Booker went on to say. “She loves her babies. I don’t want people to judge her like they did last time. I just want that to be known. She loves her babies.”
“I’m like in a state of shock for real, I’m devastated, I’m hurt for Momo. I’m hurt for Chaz the father, I’m hurt for Kason his twin brother because he is a twin, but I’m mostly, mostly, mostly, mostly, worried about Wilhelmina,” the aunt continued. “She’s been through so much in the way of social media and everybody has been treating her. I just don’t want her to take a toll on her and want her to keep being the great mom that she is.”
The family gave a joint statement regarding the baby’s tragic end.
“Tonight, we are living a nightmare with the community for a second time in less than a month. I’m questioning God, ‘Lord why Ky’air?’ None of this seems real!” the comment read.“I’m begging the community again to have some compassion and empathy while lifting up our family, Kason, and his mother Wilhemnia, LaChez, my son, and the twins’ father in prayer.”