MO Man Charged in Death of Toddler

A southwest Missouri man has been charged with killing his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter.

The Newton County prosecutor’s office filed a second-degree murder charge Monday against 24-year-old Bryant Sykes Jr. He had been in custody since Wednesday on a charge of first-degree assault, with his bond set at $250,000. Sykes is accused of physically abusing Ada Bowman at a rural Joplin mobile home park. The toddler never regained consciousness after being hospitalized Tuesday and died Saturday morning at Kansas City hospital. Ada suffered bleeding in her brain and injuries to her liver, spleen and ribs. The girl’s mother, 22-year-old Gina Salazar, has been charged with child endangerment and hindering prosecution.