Local woman says she tried to help 8-year boy three weeks before his death

HOUSTON – Nahji Jackson said she first encountered 8-year old Keyontae Holzendorf just several weeks ago.

“I was pulling into the grocery store, Food Town, to grab some things and I saw a little boy sitting outside, standing up holding muffins and his mother was next to him on the side,” Jackson said.

READ: Mother of 8-year-old boy, her common-law husband arrested in death of child

Jackson said things seemed normal at first until she got closer.

“He had a cut under his right eye, it looks like he had it stitched up because it was a really deep gash. He had old burns behind each ear, he had cuts and old cuts all over him, on his face, on his neck and on his hands,” Jackson said.

READ: Prosecutors level torture accusations against mother, man charged in 8-year-old boy’s death

According to Jackson, she called the Houston Police Department.

“I filed a police report. I asked the police if they could just take the little boy somewhere they told me that they do believe he was being abused but there was nothing they could do at that point,” Jackson said.

The Houston Police Department did confirm that the officers talked to the boy’s parents, who claimed the child hurt himself while riding a bike.

About three weeks later Keyontae would be found dead.

His mother, Kayla Holzendorf and her common-law husband claimed he had drowned in a tub but court records said the child had multiple injuries all over his body.

Kayla Holzendorf, 24, appeared in court. The woman and her common-law husband, 28-year-old Dominique Lewis, claimed the boy drowned in a Houston motel bathtub late Sunday night, but detectives didn’t believe that. (KPRC 2)

Holzendorf and Lewis have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence and Injury to a child.

Jackson said she wishes she could have done more.

“The last thing I told him, I know this might be weird but I said I love you and I wish I could help you,” Jackson said.

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