10/20/2014

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Local & Regional

Funeral held for murdered California City child

Funeral held for murdered California City child

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The California City toddler who was allegedly murdered last week was laid to rest Wednesday in Santa Clarita.

Pharaoh Van Vactor, 2, was killed by his mother's boyfriend, 26-year-old Mathew Berry, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office and county prosecutors. Charges of first-degree murder and assault of a child have been filed against Berry, whose arraignment was continued until next week.

Court documents detail bruising that covered the toddler's face, head and spine area. Other marks were found on the boy's arms, legs and inner thighs, according to the court documents.

The county coroner's office determined Pharaoh died from blunt-force trauma. Berry said the child was injured while they were off-roading in the desert in Berry's pickup, according to the court documents.

The boy's death was discovered after Berry boarded a regional bus outside California City, carrying Pharaoh, who wasn't breathing.

Family members at the funeral said Pharaoh was a happy boy who loved dancing and helping others.

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