Springfield Man Charged With Murder in Toddler’s Death


DALLAS COUNTY, Mo. — “When she walked into a room, she lit up the room,” Dylan Daniel said about his two-year-old niece, Kinzlea Kilgore. 

“She was always a happy baby and could make anyone smile,” he said. 

Daniel says the murder charge against 31-year-old Kenneth Robert Davis in Kinzlea’s death is a weight off his shoulders, but that there’s still a long journey for his family to endure. 

The Dallas County Prosecutor’s Office announced the Tuesday Davis is being charged with murder in the second degree in the child’s death. 

“Now we are finally getting something accomplished,” he said. 

Kinzlea died on May 12. And, according to court documents, she had been with Davis that day in Buffalo. The family says Kinzlea’s mother was dating Davis at the time. 

Court documents say Davis told police Kinzlea was inside a pickup truck, unsupervised, with the doors shut and windows down. Davis said he was helping a friend move, and while he was inside the house, he heard a loud scream, went outside to find Kinzlea on the gravel driveway trying to get up. In court documents, he tells police he cleaned the gravel off the child’s face and washed her head. 

He told the officer on scene Kinzlea stopped breathing three minutes before first responders arrived. 

Kinzlea was flown to Cox South where she was pronounced dead. A medical examiner stated her injuries were not consistent with Davis’s story. The official cause of death was ruled a homicide. 

The family had been pushing for a speedy investigation, but at the time, the Dallas County Prosecuting office said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge Davis. 

Court documents released Tuesday now say Davis caused the death of the young girl by hitting her in the head with a blunt object. 

“I’m disgusted with what he did to my niece,” Daniel said. 

The probable cause statement says blood was found on the passenger side seat, on the glove box, on the back window, on the driver’s side door and window, and ceiling. 

In July, Davis was charged with abuse and neglect of a child in a different case. This time involving an 8-year-old girl who was sent to the hospital with severe injuries to her face.  

“Which is very sickening to me,” Daniel said. 

At the time, he was considered a suspect in Kinzlea’s death, according to the Greene County prosecutor.  And Daniel believes that incident could have been prevented if Davis had been charged in Kinzlea’s death months earlier. 

“I told Kinzlea when I was telling her bye, I told her ‘things are going to change, other kids are not going to go through this, I promise you that’,” he said. 

And that’s why he wants Davis behind bars, and the justice system and Department of Family Services to act before another child is hurt. 

“it’s very hard to keep going, but my motivation and our motivation is to keep fighting for her, we are her voice,” Daniel said.  
Davis is charged with murder in the second degree, which is a class A felony punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison. If convicted he will not be eligible for parole, until after 85 percent of his sentence has been served. 

His bond is set at $2 million. 

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