Henry County man wanted in toddler’s shaking death kills self

A Henry County man wanted on charges of shaking a toddler to death has committed suicide in a Canadian jail, a news magazine has reported.

Maclean’s, a weekly news magazine in Canada, reported an inquest has begun into the death of Joseph Charles Todd Dunn. Dunn was being held by Canadian border officials after being indicted in Henry County last month, Maclean’s reported

Dunn, 43, was actually arrested by Henry County police in November 2010 on charges of killing his 20-month-old foster child, Russell Chapman. But then a grand jury declined to indict him until it was presented to a new one this September, said Lt. Joey Smith of Henry police.

After the indictment, Henry police started searching for Dunn and learned he was attempting to flee into Canada from New York, Smith said. Canadian border authorities detained Dunn, Smith said.

Smith could not confirm that Dunn was dead but Maclean’s reported that he tried to committ suicide following a hearing before a Canadian board on his request to enter the country.

“When he returned to the prison after the hearing, one source said, Dunn used a bed sheet to hang himself from a shower,” Maclean’s reported. “He was on life support until Saturday.”

Last Sunday Niagara Regional Police issued a short press release announcing an investigation into the case of an inmate who died on Sept. 27 from a “serious injury” received five days earlier at a detention center.The police did not identify the man except to say he was a “detainee of the Canada Border Services Agency.”

In September 2010, Dunn took his foster child to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egelston because of seizures and doctors diagnosed a traumatic brain injury. After a month-long investigation, Henry police charged Dunn with felony murder and cruelty to children.

At the time, Dunn had no known history of abusing children, Sgt. Rene Swanson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2010. He had two biological children — a teenage girl and an infant, she said.

He also had Russell’s older brother, but the 3-year-old was removed by state social workers.