Arrest citation reveals disturbing details in child's murder

Published: Sep. 12, 2017 at 11:27 AM EDT
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An arrest citation for Lonnie Jay Belt reveals disturbing information about how a five-year-old Jackson County boy died.

Police charged Belt with murder on Monday after finding the body of James Spoonamore. They also charged him with assault, two counts of kidnapping, and evidence tampering for an attack on the boy's mother.

According to the citation, Belt admitted to taking Jessica Durham and her son against their will to a secluded wooded area on Friday morning. Police say Belt assaulted the mother and pushed her off a cliff, leaving her with significant injuries. The citation goes on to say that Belt then admitted to the taking the boy to a separate area where he struck the five-year-old in the head multiple times with a metal object.

Police say Belt then left James Spoonamore's body in a wooded area. State Police found the child's body Monday morning about 180-feet off Sparks Ridge Road. That's less than a mile from where hikers found Durham. Durham survived the attack.

Jessica Odell's brother is married to Jessica Durham. She says her brother became worried about his wife and stepson when he returned home from a doctor's appointment and his family was gone.

"Her cell phone and everything was at home and it's not usual for her to leave her things at home. He was worried," Odell said.

"We tried to keep faith that he would be okay and that they would find him okay. From there on out, we just hear what all had happened to Jessica. It was scary because we was thinking if this man would be so bad to do this to her, he would definitely harm him."

She said the news of her nephew's death was devastating.

"It was probably one of the hardest things I'd ever be able to hear," Odell said. "He was the happiest baby you could ever meet."

The family is now trying to remain strong for each other as they trying to figure out why this happened.

"What possessed him to do it? They were such nice people, my brother always tried to do right by everybody."

Jessica and David Durham have been married for about four years. The family tells WKYT Jessica is in critical condition at UK Chandler Medical Center following several surgeries and that she is awake.

"We need all the prayers we can get right now."

Belt is due in court on September 18 for a preliminary hearing.

Friends and family members of the victims are holding a vigil at 8 on Saturday night at Bond Memorial Park in McKee. The family is asking anyone who would like to make a donation to help bury little James Spoonamore to make a donation directly to Lakes Funeral Home in McKee. Friends are also

to pay for the boy's funeral.