PARMA, Ohio – A Cuyahoga County grand jury has returned an indictment charging Matthew Ponomarenko, 31, for the murder of his 5-year-old son, Jax Ponomarenko.
On March 25, 2021, Ponomarenko struck Jax multiple times with a baseball bat inside his home on Russell Avenue near West 45th Street in Parma, police say.
“It is tragic and unimaginable that a father could murder his own son,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. “Our thoughts remain with the victim’s family and friends as they grieve this tragedy.”
Parma police released 911 audio in which the father tells the operator he killed his son and was “hearing voices.”
Dispatch: “What is the problem?”
Ponomarenko: “I just killed my son.”
Dispatch: “What do you mean you just killed your son?”
Ponomarenko: “I am hearing voices.”
Dispatch: “Where is your son now?”
Ponomarenko: “He’s dead”
Dispatch: “Dead where?”
Ponomarenko: “In the living room.”
Officers with the Parma Police Department arrived at the scene and arrested the father in his front yard.
Officers found Jax lying in the living room suffering from multiple injuries to his head and face and he was pronounced dead.
Ponomarenko has been indicted for two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of endangering children.
He is currently being held at the Cuyahoga County Jail on a $5,000,000 bond.
According to WEWS, the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services has had investigations at the home in the past. The most recent DCFS contact was in 2019.
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Author: T. Grant Benson
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