Court documents indicate 5-year-old died after being left in daycare van

Preliminary results showed there was no physical trauma

MOBILE, Alabama - (WKRG) – Court documents filed in the Manslaughter case against Valarie Patterson indicate that Kamden Johnson died from being left in the daycare’s van.  Final autopsy results have not been released but preliminary results showed there was no physical trauma to the 5-year-old boy.

Court documents also show that Patterson, after finding Kamden in the van, dumped his body “on the side of Demotroplis Road.”

There is no mention of Johnson’s death being attributed to a hot vehicle, but the high temperature that day was 93-degrees.

On Wednesday, Jasmyn Williams Johnson, the mother of Kamden Johnson, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the daycare and its owners. The civil suit alleges that the daycare owners, Carl and Angela Coker, along with Preschool Academy Director Kenya Anderson, were negligent in the operation of the unlicensed daycare causing the death of Kamden.

The suit alleges that the Community Ministries Nursery and Preschool Academy failed to provide safe and adequate care of Kamden, that they were negligent in hiring Valarie Patterson, and failed to adequately screen or conduct a background check on Patterson.

In addition to the claims of negligence, the suit continues and alleges that the actions of the daycare and its workers were wanton.

Valarie Rena Patterson was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with abuse of a corpse. Just before her bond hearing Wednesday morning on that charge, District Attorney Ashley Rich announced that a warrant for Manslaughter had been signed against Patterson.

Patterson is due in court this morning.

Here is a timeline of Kamden Johnson’s case:

On Monday morning, 5-year-old Kamden Johnson was dropped off at Community Daycare but never showed up at Collier Elementary School for class.

Our sister station in Mobile, News 5, has reached out to the Mobile County School System for information on how they alert parents when children fail to show up for class and are waiting for more information.

Monday afternoon around 2 p.m., a group of school children discovers a child’s body off Demetropolis Road, and police work to identify him as Kamden Johnson.

Later that night, Valerie Patterson, an employee at Community Church Ministries meets with police who book her into Mobile Metro Jail for a Class C Felony of Abuse of a corpse.

“She came in on her own accord and spoke with our officers and subsequently was later charged,” Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said during a press conference.

Tuesday morning, District Attorney Ashley Rich upgraded Patterson’s charge to manslaughter after court documents indicate that Kamden Johnson died from being left in the daycare’s van. Final autopsy results have not been released but preliminary results showed there was no physical trauma to the 5-year-old boy.

A few hours later, Jasmyn Williams Johnson, Kamden’s natural mother, filed a lawsuit against Community Church ministries and daycare operators.

Despite the pending lawsuit, Community Church Ministries held a prayer vigil Tuesday evening and addressed the controversy.

“We are hurting we are dying inside they lost Kamden. We lost Kamden. We lost him. We lost him. We lost him,” said Co-Owner Angela Coker.

“Everybody knows Valerie was our special case. She has cancer. She is already fighting for her life. She’s got children and going through a divorce,” said Coker.


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