PAW PAW, Mich. — Testimony given Tuesday at Van Buren County District Court recounts the details that led to the death of a toddler.
Matthew Knobloch is being charged with open murder in the death of 17-month-old Alileeona Clark. According to Van Buren County Prosecutor Mike Bedford, a pathologist ruled that Alileeona died from blunt-force trauma to her head and body.
Alileeona’s mother, Taylor Pease, testified that Knobloch had moved into her mobile home off Patton Drive in Mattawan in March 2015. On July 8, she was out running errands with Alileeona, and upon returning home, tucked the toddler in for a nap. Pease and Knobloch then drank in their bedroom before falling asleep themselves.
Knobloch reportedly got out of bed that night and headed to the bathroom when he heard Alileeona crying in her room. That’s when, according to testimony given by MSP Detective Sergeant Shane Criger, Knobloch back-handed her two-three times to the face and head. After, he covered her face with a pillow while he punched her back side before ultimately “hammer-fisting” her left side.
Criger said that Knobloch admitted these details to him in an interview they had July 9 at the MSP Paw Paw post, where Knobloch was being held on an outstanding warrant. Knobloch was informed that Alileeona died from her injuries July 10.
Knobloch’s next appearance in court is up in the air, but Bedford says that the case is bound over to circuit court on a charge of open murder.