Henrico police seize whip, bleach in death of 3-year-old

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico police seized an empty bottle of bleach, a whip and an asthma inhaler along with several other items during their investigation into the death of a Richmond three year old, Zyon Thompson.  Three people have been charged with child abuse, Alexis Raiford, her husband Clarence and a roommate William Moore.

"I never hurt Zyon or any of my children," says Alexis Raiford.  "I had nothing to do with it, I'm not that type of person," says Moore.  From Henrico Jail east, both defendants deny doing any wrongdoing. Clarence Raiford did not want to do an on camera interview.

Alexis says she was with Zyon's mother the entire day and wasn't home when he was taken to the hospital. "I never hurt him at all, I barely was even around him, I barely was even around my own kids, I barely was even in this house," she said.

Search warrants filed on April 24 of the home on Oakleys Lane reveal new details in the case of Zyon Thompson. The documents show Clarence Raiford brought the boy in to the hospital unconscious and not breathing. Raiford said the child was twice found eating crabs or crab seasoning and used an albuterol inhaler to help. However, he took Zyon to the hospital when he found him not breathing the next morning.

When the child was examined doctors found "bruising, abrasions, and swelling on the front and back" of his body from his head to his knees, according to court documents. The wounds were in various states of healing and doctors say they did not appear normal or part of an isolated event. A CT scan found injury to half of his brain.

Zyon's mom told police that Clarence and his wife, Alexis Raiford were watching Zyon. Alexis told the boy's mother earlier in April the boy and other three year olds put bleach in a tub and were found sitting in it. Zyon's mother noticed redness on his bottom that evening. Alexis also told officers Zyon jumped off bed and hit head on a chest of drawers, according to the court papers.

Officers searched the Oakleys Lane home and attached storage structures for evidence to support a charge of child abuse and malicious wounding. They were looking for crabs, crab seasoning, albuterol, bleach, clothing and any related evidence and seized orange food seasoning, five bloody diaper, an empty bleach container, a cat o' nine tails whip, Benadryl, a rectal gel applicator and plastic containers of budesonide inhalation suspension medicine, which is used to treat asthma.

Zyon's family says they still don't know what happened and now just want justice. The death has taken a toll on the family who tells us that like any other little boy, Zyon loved super heroes. "Everything of a hero sense, but Spiderman was his favorite," says Monica Wilson. "If he was tortured, then they deserve whatever they get, whomever did it."

Moore says there's more to the story that will come out in court: "They [Clarence and Alexis Raiford] were beating on him and stuff like that and I didn't like to see that and they would threaten me on numerous times like beating me up and stuff like that if I said anything," says Moore.

Raiford denies it. "He never saw me put my hands on anybody, I don't even touch my own kids," she said.

Clarence and Alexis Raiford now face child abuse and neglect charges, along with William Moore who also lives at the Oakleys Lane home.

Ashley Monfort spoke with Moore and Alexis Raiford from jail, as well as Zyon's aunt. WATCH her interview on 12News at 5.

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