1 Year Later: Boy's death still under investigation

1 Year Later: Boy's death still under investigation
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — One full year after it happened, investigators now say the death of 4-year-old Markey Dixon was a homicide.

Eyewitness News has continued asking questions about the case and discovered investigators have also found old injuries to the little boy.

It was April 23, 2010, that officers were called the the family's small travel trailer for reports that the child had been injured. Officers originally reported suspicious head injuries. The child was taken to Kern Medical Center, and then transferred Children's Hospital of Central California in Madera. Markey died at that hospital on April 24, 2010.

The case has been under investigation since then. "It's been a very difficult, very complex case," Sheriff's Commander Dennis Smithson told Eyewitness News on Monday.

Smithson said the case is still open, and there are some preliminary results.

"There's significant indications that there's been a long-time history of injuries to the child," Smithson said. "There was a significant and extremely large number of scars on the child's body." The officer said there were scars on Markey's torso, chest and abdomen, and bruising to internal organs.

The little boy was also burned, according to investigators. "He had burn scars on his fingers," Smithson said. "Not on the tops of the fingers, where you'd expect a 4-year-old to be burned."

Overall, the conclusion at this point is a case of homicide. "The mode of death is homicide, the cause will be blunt force trauma," Smithson explained. "He had significant head injuries."

Days after the child died, father Mark Dixon told Eyewitness News Markey had fallen from a table in the travel trailer. The family had lived in the small trailer next to Cowen's Pet Resort in the 22000 block of Stockdale Highway for a couple years, the father told us. The father had worked there for most of that time.

Mark Dixon said the little boy was well cared for.

"I want people to know that my kids are everything to me, there's nothing that matters more," Dixon said at the time. "This is an accident that happened."

The child's mother, Alexis Dixon, was reportedly in the trailer when Markey was hurt. She never wanted to make any comments about the death at that time. Alexis Dixon was pregnant, and delivered the new baby a week or so after Markey's death.

The couple also has a son who was one year old at the time.

Mark and Alexis Dixon lost custody of Markey when he was an infant, according to the family. According to court records, the charge was willful cruelty to a child.

"That was for being under the influence, but he wasn't not taken care of," Mark Dixon told Eyewitness News last year. The father said he was on parole at that time, so he was sent back to prison. Dixon said after getting out, he went through the necessary steps to regain custody of his son.

On Monday, Commander Smithson said coroner investigators also have to sort out injuries done at the hospital -- what they call medical intervention. "Injuries caused by medical staff in an effort to save his life," he said.

Smithson said the case is so complicated even more information is still needed, such as toxicology results, to complete the required reports.

"We're going to make this case a priority to get the report finished," the commander said. That final report is needed by the district attorney's office. He said they have a rough draft, but more exam and test results are needed. No arrests have been made in the case.

"Once that is done, the report is finalized, it can be given to detectives and submitted as part of a package to the district attorney's office if they have enough information to approve a criminal case," Smithson said.