Zion McKeown
- May 30, 2012

On May 29, 2012, Kyle McKeown, who was 32 years old and his girlfriend, who lived with him, Grace Lee-Nakamoto, who was 27 at the time, took Kyle's four year old son, Zion McKeown to the Maui Memorial Medical Center. Zion had supposedly been found unresponsive by the couple who took him to the emergency room.

Zion was prepped for emergency surgery and it is said that he had a bleeding bowel as well as a lacerated
pancreas with his bowels being prolapsed, through his rectum. A trauma surgeon said that the injuries Zion had were equal to someone who had hit a concrete wall at about 65 miles an hour. Bruises were found on his arms, legs, face, back, chest, neck and the back of his head. Both Kyle and Grace claimed they had no idea how he got the bruises and tried to say it was from them doing CPR on the child.

At 4:30 a.m. on May 30, Zion died and an autopsy showed that cause of death to be blunt force trauma to his lower abdomen. It was reported that the injuries were probably received while Zion was laying down and someone had stomped on him. A medical report said that Zion had suffered multiple bruises and abrasions and that the injuries he had all appeared to be new having been caused shortly before his death

Kyle and Grace were arrested and charged with second degree murder even so, First Deputy Prosecutor Robert
Rivera said that the investigation was ongoing and recommended that the couple be released:

"There's further investigation that needs to be completed"

During a previous court appearance, the lawyers representing Kyle and Grace said there was insufficient evidence to establish probable cause in the case and Kyle's lawyer said that his client was not linked to the injuries that Zion had suffered, by the timeline of events that took place prior.

Robert Rivera asked the court for special conditions for release of the couple including that the couple have no
contact with children including living in a home where there are minors not even with Kyle's other two children. Kyle said in court that he understood he was to have no contact with his two sons. The couple was also told not to have contact with each other and to turn in their passports. Both have the understanding that staying out of jail means following the orders of the court.

Maryann Rooney, who is Zion's grandmother on his mother's side, said that she had taken care of Zion while he was a baby after he had been taken to the hospital with severe injuries, though custody was eventually given back to his mother and more recently, Zion had been living with his father and his girlfriend. As early as one year ago, Maryann had asked the state not to give custody of her grandson back to his parents:

"It's their fault that he's dead because they never even checked up. When you do
something that terrible to a child that he is permanently injured, this child could not talk,
could not speak normally, why do you give him back. He just needed a lot of love"
Maryann Rooney

Maryann said that state did not protect her grandson when she told them it was not a good idea to return him to his parents since his mother had psychiatric problems and a history that involved abuse toward her other children. Zion had been left with his father, by his mother, only a few months before he died:

"I want Child Welfare Services to admit that they were wrong in giving this child back to his
parents. They had a case 3 1/2 years ago, they dropped the ball on it and  he's dead"

The relationship between Maryann and her daughter has been rough and Maryann said she had not seen Zion for about a year and that her daughter did not want her to talk to any of the media about what had happened. Maryann said she feels justice needs to be served in this case.

A spokes person for the State Department Of Human Services said:

"I think in hindsight when we have a situation that involves the death of any child,

I think it's much easier to suggest there was a failure. We will be reviewing the facts
of this case to see how it can better inform our practices going forward"
Pat McManaman - DHS Director

Hearings for Kyle and Grace were set for 3:30 p.m. in Family Court on July 2, 2012


Today is June 12, 2014 and I am unable to find any updates for Zion's case.

Death Occurred in the state of Hawaii

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