Court docs reveal horrific details of California City child's death

Court docs reveal horrific details of California City child's death

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Newly released documents reveal more about the man accused of murdering his girlfriend's young son on Nov. 20 in California City.

Mathew Berry, 26, of California City, is currently being held without bail in the death of 2-year-old Pharaoh Van Vactor, whose body was covered in bruises. The toddler died of blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen as the result of a homicide, according to the official autopsy.

In the police report released on Thursday, Berry told investigators that the boy died after he fell out of his car seat while the pair were off-roading outside of California City. He later admitted to causing the bruising after he trying to perform CPR on the boy.

But a pathologist close to the investigation refuted the bruising claim, stating that Berry's "explanation about the injuries were not consistent" with the results.

Van Vactor's mother, Adrianna Brown, also of California City, knew her child was in Berry's custody, according to the documents. She said that Berry had asked her to spend time with the child by taking him to his work.

Brown became worried when she was unable to reach Berry through his cell phone. She did tell police she never believed Berry was the type to hurt her child.

California City police discovered two bags of marijuana in Berry's truck. Some people close to Berry told police he used to be in the military and was now a drug user. Berry's sister told authorities her brother was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Berry has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and assault of a child under 8 resulting in death.