On Tuesday, a 7-year-old girl arrived at her Las Vegas elementary school with a stash of sticky notes in her hand, which she gave to her teacher. The notes, from her mother, were a cry for help.
The woman wrote that she was being held captive by her boyfriend and feared that her 4-year-old son, who she had not seen for weeks, was dead, according to her attorney. After the teacher notified authorities, police went to the home of Brandon Toseland, where they found the body of Mason Dominguez in Toseland’s freezer.
Toseland, 35, has since also been charged with murder and two counts of kidnapping.
The woman told her lawyer, Stephen Stubbs, that Toseland sexually, physically and emotionally abused her for months. Toseland isolated her from her family, took away her phone and car keys, controlled her social media accounts and quit her job on her behalf, Stubbs told the Washington Post.
He also allegedly installed locks, video surveillance and monitor sensors to track the woman’s movements, Stubbs told the Post. “It just got worse to the point where, finally, in December, there was one day she tried to exit a room and it was locked …and from then on she was held captive.”
A statement released by Las Vegas metropolitan police department on Wednesday said the woman was “not allowed to leave the house alone or enter the garage”. In addition, “she also confirmed she had not seen her toddler since December 2021, and she believed he was deceased”.
Homicide detectives assumed the investigation and discovered the child’s remains inside a freezer in the garage, the statement said.
According to Stubbs, the woman met Toseland through her late husband. After her husband died in January last year, Toseland started to comfort her and the pair began dating two months later.
She and her kids went on to move in with Toseland, which “started out fantastic”, Stubbs told Insider. However, from the time that she was locked up to when she was rescued, the woman never had a chance in which she could run away with her daughter.
Toseland, who sent the 7-year-old girl to school every morning, would bring along the woman and leave her handcuffed in his car, concealed behind a sun shield.
Every day, the woman searched for something to help her escape. She eventually found a stash of sticky notes and a pen.
“It was a game of him leaving and her knowing that she has less than a minute to take the sticky notes and the pen from their hiding spot, write whatever she could and then hide it before he could come back … and keep in mind, she can’t even see through the front windshield to know when he’s going to be back,” Stubbs said.
Eventually, the woman completed the note and a few days prior to her rescue, Toseland allowed her to sleep in the same room with her daughter. That night, the woman repeatedly coached her daughter on how to deliver the note to her teacher and what to say, according to Stubbs.
Police were able to track down Toseland after they set up surveillance around his house and saw him exit the car with the woman. Since her rescue, the woman and her daughter have been staying with relatives and are receiving “all the help they need”, said Stubbs.
Scott Coffee, Toseland’s attorney, told the Washington Post that he plans on seeking a mental health evaluation for Toseland and said that it is “too early in the case to know what happened”.
“His criminal history is minimal,” Coffee said, referring to the two counts of domestic battery that Toseland has been charged with after being arrested in 2018, to which he pleaded no contest.
Toseland is detained in county jail and will appear in court next Monday.