Man faces murder charge in boy's death

Man faces murder charge in boy's death

ROSEBURG, Ore. - The sheriff expects murder charges will be brought against a Douglas County man in the death of a 2-year-old boy who succumbed to a severe head injury early Friday morning.

The boy, Dennis James Young, had been hospitalized since Tuesday, first at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg before being taken to Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland.

Young had been on life support since arriving at OHSU on Wednesday, the sheriff's office said.

The boy died at the Portland hospital just after midnight Friday morning.

Detectives met with and interviewed the boy's mother and Mark Allen Vanderhoof, 50, in Portland. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office took Vanderhoof into custody Wednesday on a charge of first degree assault.

The sheriff expects those charges to be upgraded to murder sometime Friday.

Doctors reported the boy's injury was life-threatening and inconsistent with the explanation reported by Vanderhoof and his girlfriend, the boy's mother, Briana Lyn Snow, 31.

According to the affidavit for probable cause, Portland police and Douglas County Sheriff's deputies talked with Vanderhoof at the hospital and he, "admitted to striking Denis Young with sufficient force to cause the injuries to the child.

Snow was away from home Tuesday running errands while Vanderhoof watched the boy, the sheriff's office said. Vanderhoof called her and said she needed to come home right away because the boy had fallen off the front porch and hurt himself.

When she got home, she found her son unconscious and seriously injured. She called 911 for an ambulance.

 On Wednesday afternoon, Vanderhoof was taken into custody and jailed on a First Degree Assault charges.

The Major Crimes Team continued the investigation, searching the home at 895 Mulberry Lane in the Lookingglass area of Douglas County on Thursday, Jan. 27.