Jeffrey James Exon, courtesy of Shawnee County Department of Corrections, Aurora Exon via screenshot of obituary video
A Kansas man who killed his 2-year-old daughter by starving her to death will probably spend the rest of his life in jail. Authorities confirmed to Law&Crime that a Shawnee County jury found Jeffrey James Exon guilty of first-degree felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated endangering of a child, and failing to report the death of a child in the brutal killing of young Aurora Exon.
On January 5, 2021, Exon was taken into custody by the Topeka Police Department after her 45-year-old father called 911 to say that his daughter had stopped breathing. He told the 911 operator that the little girl had been “starving herself” for a while.
First responders and emergency medical workers got to the scene, but the child was already dead and couldn’t be saved. Officers and medics at the scene said Aurora was cold to the touch and had rigor mortis, which is a stiffening of the muscles after death that usually doesn’t happen for 12 hours. On the spot, the child was said to be dead.
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Police Found 5 Liquor Bottles in Exon’s Bedroom
The police are said to have found at least five empty liquor bottles in Exon’s bedroom when they were cleaning up the scene.
The Topeka Capital-Journal said that Deputy Shawnee County District Coroner Altaf Hossain, the forensic pathologist who did Aurora’s autopsy, found that the toddler died of marasmus, a type of protein-energy malnutrition that was caused by the caretaker’s negligence.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Kansas dad who killed daughter by locking her in bedroom for days then claimed she’d been ‘starving herself’ learns his fate
READ MORE: https://t.co/y3ZpYOy6Zv pic.twitter.com/rMlG5lg6Fe
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) April 11, 2023
At the time Aurora died, Theodore “Teddy” Exon, who was four years old, and Aurora were both in Exon’s care. During the trial, the children’s mother, Seonaid Nichols, said that after she and Exon broke up, she didn’t have a good place to live with the kids, so she let them stay with their father.
During the trial, prosecutors talked about how Teddy told police that his father would lock him and his sister Aurora in their rooms for days at a time without giving them any food. He told the kids that he did this so he could sleep, according to Topeka CBS affiliate WIBW.
During the trial, there were also three people who worked at the Sheldon Child Development Center Head Start, which was Teddy’s preschool.
Three school employees told the Capital-Journal that they were very worried about Exon’s mental and physical health. They said that in October 2020, when Exon picked up his son from the bus stop, he looked thin and drunk.
One of the preschool workers also remembered that Exon tried to explain away his poor physical condition by saying he had been taking painkillers for a neck injury and had one drink of alcohol earlier in the day.
Exon’s brother, Michael Exon, is said to have said in court that his younger brother had a long history of drinking too much and that he lied about being sober in the two years before Aurora died.
After a competency test, Shawnee County District Judge Nancy Parrish ruled in August 2021 that Exon was able to stand trial.
Exon will be back in front of Judge Parrish on July 28 for a hearing about his sentence.
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