Five-year-old Dominic Elkins, whose body was found in a ravine in western Iowa, had multiple injuries to his head and torso, according to a court document.
Cody Metzker-Madsen, 17, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dominic, his foster brother.
Metzker-Madsen told authorities that the two boys had been “playing with bricks” when Dominic began hitting himself in the head with a brick.
Metzker-Madsen later changed his story as to what happened, though further details weren’t provided in the court document.
He is being held in the Harrison County jail on $500,000 bail.
The two boys were living in a rural Harrison County home. Metzker-Madsen had lived there about three years, while the child had been there only a few weeks.
The family reported Dominic missing and possibly injured about 7:15 p.m. Saturday. Before deputies arrived, the teenager led the family to the ravine near Logan, Iowa, where Dominic was found.
According to the court document, Metzker-Madsen had blood splatters on his face but no signs of injuries.
Dominic’s family has been contacted. The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny performed an autopsy but has not released any information on the cause or manner of death, said Mitch Mortvedt, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for western Iowa.
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case.