Texas Man Charged With Murder in Shooting Death of Dad Whose Toddler Was Found Dead in Stolen Car

Houston dad shot
Authorities said this man has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting of a Houston father.Houston Police Department

A Teaxas man has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting a dad, and then stealing car with the victim's toddler in the back seat. Police said they later found the vehicle abandoned and the child dead inside.

A 38-year-old Houston man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shooting of a father whose 2-year-old son was later found dead in the backseat of a SUV after the suspect fled in the father's vehicle, police said.

The suspect has been charged with murder and evidence tampering, Houston police announced late Wednesday. The man was not identified. 

Relatives identified the victims as Michael Essien, 38, and his son, Micah. "Tell Houston, tell the whole world that I want my nephew back. He's only 2 years old. He does not know how to hurt a fly," Jessie Okon, the toddler's aunt, told KHOU-TV Wednesday. "My brother has always been a peaceful man. I need my brother back."

The killing occurred Tuesday afternoon, as Essien argued with the unidentified man in a Houston suburb, police said. Essien was shot several times and died at the scene, police said. When officers arrived to investigate, the victim's SUV was gone, authorities said.

Not long after, Essien's wife called police to report that her husband and child were missing. After speaking with her, police were able to determine that her husband was the man who had been shot, authorities said.

Officers began searching for Essien's vehicle, and discovered it abandoned about 30 minutes later. The child was in the back seat. Officers broke a window to get to the toddler, but it was too late, police said. Though police administered first aid, the baby was unresponsive.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death, and police said heat exhaustion may have been the cause.

The suspect was arrested at an apartment complex near the shooting scene on Wednesday, officers said. 

Related Stories