Boy Already Dead When Car Stolen in North Alabama

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GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - Etowah County authorities say a five-year-old boy who became the focus of an Amber Alert Monday morning already was dead from a beating, his body apparently buckled in the back seat, when his mother claimed he was in a car that was stolen.

Sheriff James Hayes said a preliminary autopsy showed the child, Geontae Glass, suffered blunt force trauma in blows to his abdomen and back and probably did not die immediately. Hayes said the boy's mother told investigators the beating occurred after the boy brought home a bad progress report from kindergarten Friday.

He said the child was last seen alive Saturday afternoon at a barbecue restaurant in east Gadsden that the mother's boyfriend, 31-year-old Kevin Andrew Towles either owns or co-owns. He said investigators believe the boy was fatally beaten by Towles at his Mountainboro home later that weekend. Towles was charged with capital murder.

The mother, 25-year-old Shalinda Glass of Rainbow City faces a charge of hindering prosecution.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)