Family friends devastated over boy's death, suspect's arrest - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Family friends devastated over boy's death, suspect's arrest

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OREGON (WKOW) -- Close family friends of the man who's considered a suspect in the homicide of a 5-year-old boy say they're shocked.

Sun Prairie police say Dakota R. Black, 23, has been held in the Dane County Jail on an unrelated probation and parole warrant since the day Brayden Turnbill was found seriously hurt in a Sun Prairie home. Brayden died two days later in the hospital.

Emma Harris says her family took in Black after he got out of jail. He has served time for three OWI charges and bail jumping. Black moved into their Oregon home, along with his girlfriend, Brayden's mother. The two brought their one-year-old son along, as well as Brayden.
 
Harris tells 27 News Black was trying to get his life back together, getting his diploma. Harris says Black and his girlfriend stayed for about six months, until early October when the family moved into the Sun Prairie home where Brayden was injured.
 
In Oregon, the family is at a loss, trying to understand what happened to the little boy they loved like their own family, and the man they say the boy looked up to as a father.
 
"He loved that child," says Harris. "I can't imagine him hurting that boy... ever... I just can't fathom it."
 
Elyssa Ohmstead says Brayden was a bright light in their lives.
 
"I remember Brayden being here every day," Ohmstead tells 27 News. "He was a little ball of sunshine.... you couldn't meet him and help but love him, he was a joy to be around."
 
Harris and Ohmstead say they've been in touch with Brayden's mother, who is heartbroken to lose one of her seven children. She was at work at the time Brayden was hurt.
 
Black has been in Dane County Jail on unrelated warrants since last Tuesday. He has not been charged in the boy's death at this time but authorities are considering him a suspect.
 
Investigators have not released any other details of the incident, except that the boy's death is considered a homicide.
 
A benefit has been set up to help fund Brayden's funeral and to support organizations working to prevent child abuse.
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