Man arrested in death of 22-month-old child, Lincoln Police say

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A man has been accused of abusing a 22-month-old boy, which resulted in the child’s death, Lincoln Police say.

On Sunday, officers were sent to St. Elizabeth Hospital on a report of an infant who was being treated for injuries that were consistent with abuse.

The child was then sent to Children’s Hospital in Omaha “for a higher level of care,” according to police.

After an investigation, officers went to the home of 32-year-old Joshua Tackett, located near 7th and G Streets.

During surveillance of the home, Tackett’s mother, Karen Vestecka, was seen entering the apartment and leaving with a pair of shoes and a green rifle case, according to an arrest affidavit.

Officers then pulled over Vestecka after she left the apartment.

Vestecka told officers that the child had suffered a brain bleed, a black eye, a swollen ankle, bruising and wouldn’t open his eyes, the affidavit alleges.

Police think Vestecka retrieved Tackett’s rifle from the apartment in an effort to shield her son from felony gun charges.

Tackett is prohibited from owning firearms due to prior felony and domestic violence-related convictions.

He was also previously arrested for the burglary of several Lincoln homes in 2014, along with two other suspects.

Officers eventually served a search warrant at the home and found a gun inside, according to police.  Tackett was not there at the time of the search.

Two days later, officers arrested Tackett on suspicion of possessing a firearm by a prohibited person at a home near 10th and Peach Streets.

Tackett exited the home and turned himself over to the custody of investigators without incident, according to the affidavit.

Three days later on Friday morning, police say the 22-month child died.

Tackett, who was lodged at the Lancaster County Jail, was then additionally accused of child abuse resulting in death.

For the firearms charges, Tackett’s bond is set at $50,000.

An investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call Lincoln Police at 402-441-6000 or Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600.

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