St. Joseph, MO – A convicted felon with a history of domestic violence has been arrested for allegedly beating his six-year-old daughter to death with a baseball bat and hiding her body on the roof of his home, according to police.
St. Joseph police said they were called to a residence located at 3217 ½ Mitchell Avenue in the early-morning hours of Sept. 2, the St. Joseph News-Gazette reported.
The exact nature of the call for service was not immediately released.
Investigators said the suspect, 37-year-old convicted felon Dustin Beechner, led police to the roof of his home, where they discovered the body of six-year-old Jozlyn Marie Beechner lying beneath a white sheet, KAKE reported.
Dustin Beechner told investigators that the little girl was his daughter.
According to court documents, Jozlyn Beechner had been beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat, KAKE reported.
She had been struck multiple times in the head and died from blunt-force trauma injuries, according to the St. Joseph News-Gazette.
Dustin Beechner was arrested on one count of felony child abuse resulting in death.
He faces a maximum of 30 years or life in prison if he is convicted, according to the St. Joseph News-Gazette.
Dustin Beechner appeared before Andrew and Buchanan County Judicial Circuit Court Associate Circuit Judge Keith Marquart on Sept. 7 and was ordered to be held without bail pending a bond review hearing scheduled for Sept. 14, KAKE reported.
Marquart said the suspect was placed on suicide watch at the jail facility.
“I’ve been doing good for a year and a half in recovery,” he said during his hearing last week, according to the St. Joseph News-Gazette. “Some things have been going on in my life …”
Dustin Beechner was previously convicted of two felony domestic assault charges.
He was placed on probation in one of those cases.
Jozlyn Beechner would have turned seven years old on Sept. 15, according to the St. Joseph News-Gazette.
Instead of celebrating her birthday, her friends and family will hold a candlelight vigil that night in her honor.