Authorities seized a brown leather belt, blue metal rod and swabs of a “red substance” suspected of being related to the May 27 death of 5-year-old Christian Sydnor after a search warrant was served at the home he occupied with his 31-year-old mother, Tonja Lashay Sydnor.
Sydnor along with 22-year-old Kory Lenorad Lennon of 1120 State Shed Road in Nathalie are charged with second-degree murder in the death of the 5-year-old, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.
Lennon also has been charged with one count of felony child abuse, and Sydnor has been charged with felony child neglect.
Investigators Sam Edmonds and Jeff Burton seized a brown leather belt, blue metal rod and a cell phone, in addition to two swabs of a red substance, according to an evidence inventory list filed in Halifax County Circuit Court after Edmonds found probable cause to search the residence for evidence of abuse and neglect of a child, according to a search warrant served at 3:10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
A search of a single-wide trailer at 2031 Old Cluster Springs Road was conducted for “possible weapons to include, but not limited to firearms, ammunitions, knives, bats, boards and/or other objects that could be used too inflict injury, fingerprints, footprints, DNA, blood, blood spatter evidence, body fluids, body secretions, hair follicles and any item or object these items may be found upon or attached to such as carpeting, walls, furniture, clothing, etc.”
The sheriff’s office reported authorities were summoned to a home on Old Cluster Springs Road at about 6 p.m. Monday, May 27, for an unresponsive 5-year-old, with deputies and emergency responders being told the child was being taken by private vehicle to the hospital and the vehicle would meet rescue crews in the Riverdale area.
Crews met family members in Riverdale and transported the child to Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.
The body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke for an autopsy, with the medical examiner ruling on Tuesday, May 28, the child died of blunt force trauma to the head.
A preliminary hearing for the defendants has been set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 2, in Halifax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Thomas Michael Jones of Keysville will defend Sydnor, while Sandra Saseen-Smith of the Halifax County Public Defender’s Office has been appointed to represent Lennon.
A funeral for Christian Sydnor was held Sunday at Rocky Mount Baptist Church in Skipwith.