Minnesota mother charged with killing her son; body found in trunk

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A mother was charged Monday in the death of her 6-year-old son, whose body was found bloodied in the trunk of his car in a Minneapolis suburb last week.

Julissa Thaler, 28, of Spring Park, is charged with second-degree intentional murder in the death of Eli Hart. Court records do not list an attorney who can speak on her behalf.

Family members said the boy’s father, Tory Hart of Chetek, Wisconsin, was trying to gain custody of his son when Eli was killed.

According to a criminal complaint, preliminary autopsy findings say the boy was shot nine times.

Police said they found the boy’s body after arresting Thaler in Mound on Friday. They had received a call about a car driving on a flat tire with a broken rear window.

The complaint says Thaler left the traffic stop before officers opened the trunk. The police went to his apartment, but Thaler was not there. The washing machine was running and contained clothes he was wearing during the traffic stop, according to the charging document.

Officers caught up with Thaler nearby and noticed that he had blood and other biological evidence in his hair, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Eli was placed back with his mother in December after spending nearly a year in foster care because she failed to care for him properly, records show.

Family members said the boy’s behavior changed after his mother regained custody and he began to misbehave at school and show signs of anxiety.

Thaler remained jailed on $2 million bail before appearing in court Tuesday.

A 27-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested and remains jailed on suspicion of murder. Monday’s charges say Thaler and the man went to a shooting range so she could learn how to use a firearm.

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