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Pahrump murder suspect’s defense attorneys request investigator

A Pahrump man charged with first-degree murder appeared before Judge Gus Sullivan on Wednesday, Aug. 9 for a second status check hearing.

Cole Duane Engelson, 38, was arrested last month and charged with the murder of 3-year-old Yessenia Camp, of Pahrump.

Engelson lived with the child’s biological mother, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

He is due back for another status check at 9 a.m. on Nov. 11.

Additional investigator

During the appearance in Pahrump Justice Court, Judge Sullivan heard an oral motion from defense attorneys Harry Gensler and David Rickert’s request to retain an investigator.

The court granted the defense motion, while stating that the order could be submitted with an amount that is yet to be determined.

The only unknown factor would be for the amount that the court would have pay for fees.

The defense counsel also requested that the state disclose any knowledge of all discovery pertaining to the case that may have been destroyed, or any equipment malfunctions.

Autopsy results

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office released additional information on the investigation of the child’s death.

As stated in a news release, an autopsy was conducted, revealing the preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, although the final evaluation and autopsy report won’t be completed for several additional weeks.

“Numerous samples were taken from the body by the medical examiner during the autopsy and were submitted for analysis prior to the completion of the autopsy report,” the release noted. “The process will take a month or longer.”

No sexual assault occurred

The release also disputed a local news reported suggesting the child was sexually assaulted prior to her death.

“During the autopsy, the medical examiner found absolutely no physical evidence that a sexual assault occurred,” the release stated. “During the initial medical examination during the autopsy, it was determined that the bruises found on the child were recent and at this point in the investigation, it is possible they could have been made during this incident.”

Child’s mother is fully cooperating

Additionally, the release stated that there was no probable cause found to believe that the mother of the child has committed any crime, as the mother has been and remains completely cooperative with the law enforcement investigation.

“The mother insisted from the onset of this case that she wants Engelson prosecuted for what he did to her child and will assist law enforcement and the district attorney in their preparation for prosecution,” the release noted. “The mother of the child has not been to visit Engelson in the Pahrump Detention Center. There have been no phone calls between the mother and Engelson while he has been incarcerated in the Pahrump Detention Center.”

Initial details of the case

It was just after 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, when the Nye County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a 911 call regarding a child who had stopped breathing at a residence in the 5000 block of East Manse Road in Pahrump.

“Emergency personnel from Pahrump Valley Fire Rescue Service were dispatched and upon arrival found a woman performing CPR on her 3-year-old child,” a sheriff’s office statement said.

“In addition to being unresponsive and not breathing, the child suffered from multiple bruises and other injuries. Emergency personnel provided life-saving measures while transporting the child to Desert View Hospital where emergency department staff tried desperately to save the child’s life. The child was subsequently pronounced deceased as a result of the severe injuries.”

Deputies and detectives responded to the residence and began a detailed investigation into the circumstances surrounding the child’s grave condition, the statement said.

Engelson later was taken into custody and booked into the Nye County Detention Center, where he remains held on no bail.

Detectives executed a search warrant at the residence where they searched well into the early morning hours for evidence of exactly what occurred to the child, the sheriff’s office said.

The Division of Child and Family Services was notified to take custody of other children living in the residence and place them with alternative adult family members pending the outcome of the investigation.

Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the Nye County Sheriff’s Office at 775-751-7000, attention Detective A. Fernandes or by email at NCSO_Detectives@co.nye.nv.us

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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