Norristown, PA — Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Kevin R. Steel announced today that a Hatfield man, Marquis Thomas which charged with first-degree murder in the 2016 death of four-year-old, Kailee Bunrout. Thomas lived with the child, along with her mother and two other children.
Marquis Thomas, age 32 of Needham Circle in Hatfield was charged with first-degree murder and related charges in the death of Kailee Bunrout. Thomas was also arrested and charged on March 9, 2019, with multiple counts of aggravated assault, strangulation and endangering the welfare of a child and other charges relating to injuries sustained by the eight-year-old brother of Kailee who is identified as "D.B."
Thomas is being held in the Chester County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, PA, since the March 9 arrest as the defendant could not make bail. With the new murder charges, Thomas will not be eligible for bail and will stay in custody until the completion of both cases against him.
On October 18, 2016 police and EMS were dispatched to the report of an unresponsive four-year-old child at the Forge Gate Apartments in Towamencin Township. On arrival the police found Thomas performing CPR on Kailee Bunrout. The child was transported to the Abington Health Lansdale Hospital at 8:33 that morning and was pronounced dead. An autopsy was performed on the little girl the very next day, and the cause and manner of death for Kailee Bunrout was listed as undetermined.
Kailee's eight-year-old brother DB was admitted to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on September 15, 2018, for bruising and hemorrhaging of the boy's eye socket area and eyelid specifically.
"An extensive medical evaluation determined the boy had suffered injuries consistent with non-accidental trauma, or physical child abuse," stated DA Steele. The CHOP records also indicated that two years prior, in September 2016. Kailee was treated for injuries similar to her brother 2018 injuries.
"When the boy was taken to CHOP by his mother with similar injuries as Kailee's, it raised a red flag with medical personnel and with detectives, leading to the reopening of the investigation," Said Steel. In these cases, when kids are abused by someone they know and trust. It is very difficult for them to disclose that someone they love has hurt them.
"Thankfully, the boy bravely shared that information and Marquise Thomas is now being held accountable for the death of four-year-old Kailee Bunrout and the physical abuse endured by her brother, " said the DA.
The Montgomery County Detective Bureau working with the Hatfield Police Department and the Towamencin Police Department recommended a joint investigation into the two physical abuse cases, in February 2019 the chief medical examiner for Philadelphia. Dr. Samuel P. Gulino, who is a forensic pathologist, received case files related to Kailee and her brother DB.
On February 9, 2019, D.B. during a forensic interview at Mission kids disclosed that Thomas had choked him on multiple occasions and he explained that Thomas placed his arm around his neck and made him lay with his face in the couch.
Dr. Gulino completed his review of Kailee Bunrout death on June 19, 2019, when he ruled that homicide by blunt impact trauma and strangulation was the manner of death.
Thomas was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder and related charges in the death of Kailee Bunrout before Magisterial District Judge Edward Levine. There is no bail available for the first-degree murder of luminary hearing is next scheduled for July 8 before Judge Levine.
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