By Elisabeth Smith

SONORA (CBS13) — Officials have charged two people in the death of Sonora toddler Koltyn Blackwood. 

Koltyn Sparks-Blackwood was just two months short of his second birthday when he died in January 2019. His family said he was born with a glowing spirit which they refuse to forget.

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On Monday, Tuolumne County Acting District Attorney Eric Hovatter and Sonora Police Chief Turu VanderWiel announced criminal charges were filed against Joseph Maloney, 26, and Nicole Sparks, 23, in Koltyn’s death.

Maloney was arrested at his Sonora home Monday on charges of second-degree murder, assault on a child causing death, and child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death. His bail is set at $1 million and he is due in court, virtually, on Wednesday.

If convicted, officials say Maloney could face life in prison.

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Sparks is charged with child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death. Officials issued a warrant for her arrest Monday but say it’s still outstanding. Her bail is set at $25,000.

In a statement, Koltyn’s family said, “We would like to thank everyone that put in countless hours of hard work to make this arrest. Especially the Sonora Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office. We would also like to thank all of the reporters that helped keep us going over the past two years. Now we can move forward and concentrate on Koltyn’s Law.”

No other information about the investigation has been released. Police and the district attorney’s office said they will not be commenting further on the case.

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