A 4-year-old Baltimore boy who was initially reported missing by his mother, reportedly suffered from severe, untreated burns before he died.
WJZ13 reports Malachi Lawson’s mother, 25-year-old Alicia Lawson, and her 40-year-old partner Shatika Lawson, were arrested Saturday and charged with 11 counts each — including involuntary manslaughter, first-degree child abuse, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and giving false statements.
Alicia reportedly told police she left Malachi alone on his grandmother’s porch Thursday. When she returned he wasn’t there and a search began for the reportedly missing boy. Volunteers from several area groups spent all day Friday searching for the boy.
But on Saturday, police announced charges against Alicia and Shatika for neglect. According to police, Alicia she confessed Malachi was dead during questioning and led police to a dumpster 10 miles from her home. That’s where police said Malachi’s body was found.
Documents made public Monday described the gruesome details of how Malachi died.
The women said they were giving Malachi a bath on July 23 after he soiled himself, according to the documents. While they were washing his clothes in the sink, they allegedly turned around to find the boy had serious burns from his waist down to his feet. The burns were so bad, Malachi’s skin was allegedly floating in the bathwater when they pulled him from the tub, the news station reported.
But according to reports, when police tested the water temperature at the Lawsons’ home the temperature never got above lukewarm.
The couple didn’t seek medical attention for the 4-year-old, instead they decided they would treat the burns on their own, “due to the fear that the child would be taken from them. They would get in trouble for what had happened to the child and their past history with Child Protective Services,” according to WJZ13.
On the morning of Aug, 1, Alicia said woke up and found Malachi laying a “puddle of wetness.” He was unresponsive so she assumed he had died, according to charging documents, so she wrapped her son up into a blanket and called a Lyft.
The Lyft took her 10 miles from their home where she put Malachi’s body into a black trash bag, tied it closed and then put her son’s body into the dumpster.
The FBI looked at Alicia’s cell phone browsing history and reportedly found searches for trash collection sites.
During an autopsy, the boy’s burns were consistent with what Alicia told police and looked like the burns she had photographed on July 23.
The couple’s bond was denied during a bail review hearing Monday afternoon. The judge determined they were both flight risks.
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