Man charged with murder in Southern Illinois toddler's death

Alexander Beal
Alexander Beal Provided

Prosecutors have charged a 22-year-old man with first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old child in Clay City.

Alexander J. Beal was being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child in Clay County Jail on Wednesday. He was being held on $1 million bail, according to court records.

Beal has "no significant ties to this community" and has prior criminal activity with outstanding warrants in Pennsylvania, factors that contributed to the bail amount, court records show.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office did not release the name or sex of the child. A representative of the office would not say what, if any, relationship Beal had with the child or the child's family.

The Clay County State's Attorney was not immediately available for comment.

A news release by the Sheriff’s Office said authorities were called to a Clay City home for a medical emergency on April 22.

Deputies requested help from the Child Death Investigative Task Force and were told two days later that the child had died. The Clay County Coroner, Wesley Miller, said the child had been taken to a St. Louis hospital and died there.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND