Sex offender charged in Forsyth child's death

Relates to:
Date: 2009-02-16
Source: North fulton

A 39-year-old convicted sex offender is in jail, charged with beating his girlfriend's young son to death at her Catalina Drive home Feb. 13.

Christopher B. Gilreath is in Forsyth Jail without bond, charged with aggravated battery, cruelty to children and felony murder in connection with the death of 2-year-old Joshua Pinckney, said Capt. Paul Taylor, Commander of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division.

He was arrested at the home on charges of possession of a firearm — a handgun — by a convicted felon and failure to register as a sex offender in Georgia when authorities were called to the home shortly after 7 a.m. Taylor said Gilreath is a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania, where he last registered in 2005, and may have fled that state.

Gilreath was convicted of rape in 1996 in Tennessee according to the state's sex offender registry. However, the child does not appear to have been sexually assaulted.

"Preliminary investigations do not reveal indications of a sexual assault," said Taylor.

Capt. Frank Huggins, a spokesman with the Sheriff's Office, said investigators discovered Pinckney's body in the boy's bed. Taylor said that preliminary autopsy results at the GBI Crime Lab indicated the child suffered multiple blows to the head.

As the Sheriff's Office has not received a final report from the medical examiner, Taylor would not comment on the exact method of those blows.

The boy's mother, Miriam Pinckney, was home at the time, as was Gilreath, said authorities. Taylor would no comment on whether Pinckney knew her live-in boyfriend was a convicted sex offender.

The victim's 2-year-old sister was taken into protective custody on Feb. 13 and placed with DFACS. Both children were adopted, said investigators.

The investigation into the events surrounding the child's death are continuing, Taylor said, and the case is still active.

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