BARTON COUNTY – Law enforcement authorities have located the body of a missing two-year-old Hoisington girl and have arrested a suspect in the case.
According to a media release from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Hoisington Police Department, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, found the missing girl, Iviona Lewis, deceased in rural Barton County.
Agents and local law enforcement worked through the night and made an arrest at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Chaz Zachery Stephens, 25, Hoisington, the boyfriend of Lewis’ mother, was taken into custody and booked into the Barton County Jail on a requested charge of second degree murder, where he is being held on a $1 million bond. Once an autopsy is complete formal charges will be filed by the Barton County Attorney’s office.
Lewis had been missing from a Hoisington residence since about 11 p.m. Sunday night. She was reported missing at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Hoisington Police said the girl’s mother had been visiting with her brother in Great Bend and the delay in reporting Lewis’ disappearance resulted from confusion over who was supposed to be caring for the girl.
Law enforcement agencies who assisted with the investigation included: the Hoisington Police Department, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the Hoisington Fire Department, and the Hoisington EMS.
The investigation into this case is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time, according to the KBI release.