A jury found Dawan Ferguson guilty of the murder of his son Christian, who has been missing since 2003. His body was never found.
CLAYTON, Mo. — A jury has found a man guilty of the death of his 9-year-old son nearly 20 years after the boy’s disappearance.
Dawan Ferguson was charged in 2019 with first-degree murder and child abuse, resulting in death. A St. Louis County jury found him guilty of first-degree murder on Friday. That carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the right to parole.
His son Christian had a rare metabolic disorder that prevented his body from processing proteins. When he disappeared in 2003, he was unable to walk or speak and, without proper medication, would have died within 48 hours, according to court documents.
Dawan told police his son was in the back of his SUV when it was ambushed in St. Louis in June 2003.
Dawan Ferguson was represented by public defender Jemia Steele.
Prosecutors outlined Christian’s medical issues and the care required to take care of him. Witnesses described abuse towards Christian as prosecutors built the case that Dawan neglected Christian’s specialized care.
Christian’s body was never found.
“What we’ve heard is a lot of innuendos, a lot of rumours, a lot of suggestions and a lot of theories about what they think happened, but we haven’t heard any evidence,” Steele said.
Two days before Dawan claimed he was mugged in the car with Christian, a judge ordered him to let his ex-wife see their son again. Dawan hadn’t let her see him in about three months, and the home care funds were gone.
St. Louis County Attorney Wesley Bell held a news conference following Friday’s verdict. He thanked Christian’s mother, Theda Person, for testifying and the lead prosecutor in the case.
Person asked for people to keep track of missing persons cases.
“So many missing persons cases are murder cases waiting to be solved,” Person said.
Dawan Ferguson was also charged with two counts of rape, two counts of statutory sodomy and second-degree child molestation after police said between May 2008 and 2010 he sexually assaulted a child under the age of 14, and that victim became pregnant and gave birth . Police say he continued to assault the victim between May 2010 and 2013, when the victim was under 17, according to court documents.
Police said he sexually abused another victim, younger than 17, between September 2000 and 2003, according to court records.
His trial date for these charges has been set for August 1.
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