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49 Years Later, Facebook Helped Solve The Mysterious Death Of A 19-Month-Old Baby

In 1968, the sudden death of 19-month-old Paul Booth was ruled an accident, which aligned with the story the boy's stepfather, David Dearlove, told the authorities.

Little did they know that Dearlove was harboring a chilling secret that would not come to light for almost 50 years.

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Two years later, Dearlove and baby Paul's mother, Carol, broke up. He put the child's death behind him, remarried, and moved from Stockton-on-Tees to a new home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, U.K.

However, there was one person, Peter Booth, who continued to live with the haunting memory of something he saw the night Paul died. Peter, Paul's brother, claims that Dearlove was responsible for the fatal injuries his brother sustained. He revealed that the abusive man allegedly grabbed the boy by his ankles and tossed him into the fireplace, which resulted in severe head trauma.

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Peter was only 4-years-old when the incident occurred, so he never had a chance to share his story. Since the coroner ruled the death an accident, and Dearlove moved away, Peter lost hope in getting justice for Paul - until he spotted a photograph on Facebook in 2015.

Peter was scrolling through his Facebook feed when he stumbled upon a photograph that enabled him to tell the story he kept to himself for 47 years.

The faded photo, which was posted by one of Dearlove's family members, was of little Paul sitting on his alleged killer's lap.

As soon as Peter saw the photo, his heart sank and he immediately recalled what transpired that fateful October night in 1968. He demanded that the photo be taken down, then told his cousin what he saw.

It was his cousin who eventually told the police what Peter witnessed, prompting an investigation.

"There was and is no doubt as to what medical condition caused the death of Paul Booth. He died because of a severe injury to his brain that had itself been caused by a fractured skull, said prosecutor Richard Wright. "The real issue then in 1968 as now nearly fifty years later in 2017 is what caused that injury?"

Authorities interviewed Peter as a witness, and his account is what led to Dearlove's arrest and subsequent trial.

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The senior was charged with child cruelty, including assault and neglect causing injury. Unfortunately, Carol passed away before she could know the truth.

Wright explained that it took Peter this long to reveal the truth about the night his brother died because "he had been extremely scared of David Dearlove because the violence in the household extended not just to David Dearlove hurting Paul but also to him regularly assaulting Peter."

"In terms of violence directed at himself Peter Booth went on to tell the police that David Dearlove was often violent and had on many occasions held him under the water in the bath, that he would punch and kick him on a regular basis," Wright added.

Despite Peter's story, Dearlove still denies the murder of his stepson and the child cruelty charges. The trial has begun and it's expected to last for three weeks before a verdict is issued.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.