NewsCrime Watch


3 charged in Great Falls for child's death

The three are the child's parents and an acquaintance
Posted at 12:48 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 20:32:22-05

Three people have been charged with deliberate homicide for the death of a child in Great Falls.

The three people are the child's parents, Emelio Renova and Stephanie Byington; and Racso Birdtail, an acquaintance of theirs.

The Great Falls Police Department says that just after 9 a.m. on Wednesday emergency dispatchers received a 911 call requested medical assistance at a residence in the 1200 block of 9th Street NW. Emergency responders administered first aid to the child, but the child died at the scene.

Authorities have not yet released any other details of the investigation or the circumstances, including the age of the child.

Renova and Byington are both charged with deliberate homicide, criminal child endangerment, and assault on a minor. Birdtail is charged with deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence. All three are being held in the Cascade County Detention Center on $500,000 bond each.

According to the Montana Department of Corrections, Renova has felony convictions in Yellowstone County for aggravated assault, and robbery; Byington has felony convictions in Yellowstone County for endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Authorities are continuing the investigation, which they say is "complex," and the GFPD is being assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.

(WEDNEDAY, NOVEMBER 20) Several people contacted KRTV on Wednesday afternoon to ask about the presence of emergency personnel at an apartment complex.

At about 1 p.m., witnesses told KRTV that several Great Falls Police Department vehicles, along with at least one Great Falls Emergency Services ambulance and one Great Falls Fire Rescue truck, were at the building across the street from Valley View Elementary School on 9th Street NW.

As of 2:30 p.m., there were still two GFPD vehicles and several officers still at the scene.

The GFPD said that they are investigating a possible case of child abuse and interviewing people, and that more details will be released as the investigation continues.

At this point, there have been no arrests.

Some people were concerned due to the proximity to the school, but Lt. Doug Otto of the GFPD told KRTV that there is no public threat and no danger to the community.