LAS VEGAS - More is being learned about Cassie Smith's past and how she ended up in Las Vegas with her boyfriend Joshua Oxford.
Smith and Oxford are expected to be charged with murder in the death of Smith's 3-year-old son, Daniel Theriot.
They are already facing child abuse and neglect charges with her 2-year-old son Brandon.
A relative says her family stepped in to help the young mother and her two boys when they were in need.
Smith's family tells 8 News NOW the mother and her two sons were living with an aunt in Texas and her boys were well taken care of but Smith decided to move to Las Vegas with her boyfriend and there was nothing they could to stop her.
"They're just babies, like, they were innocent and they were fun and they loved to play," said Crystal Kahles, Smith's cousin.
Kahles says over the last 6 months she really got to bond with her cousin's sons -- 2-year-old Brandon and 3-year-old Daniel.
She lives in Oklahoma but frequently drives to Texas to visit her mom who has health problems.
"It was kind of like Cassie needed help and my mother needed a little bit of help too," she said.
Kahles says Cassie Smith moved in with her mother after the 20-year-old was being investigated by Child Protective Services and the agency threatened to take the boys away if she didn't find a better place to live.
"Unfortunately, the system has failed many, many families over the years and I think that this family was one of them," Kahles said.
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Short of kidnapping the children, Kahles says they could only do so much to keep them safe.
"I just want the community to know that the family was very involved and those boys were very loved, are very loved."
Kahles says Smith's boyfriend, Joshua Oxford, lived across the street from her mom's house and that's how the two met.
She says Smith moved to Las Vegas with him and didn't tell anyone. The last memory Kahles has of the two boys is celebrating Brandon's 2nd birthday in June.
"They just, they didn't deserve this."
The boys' father tells 8 News Now his surviving son is being taken care of in protective custody. He says he will be in Las Vegas later this week.
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