Police officials said the 34-year-old mom, Lauren, and her husband, Jacob, were taken into custody on Wednesday. Both parents were charged in connection to the beating death of their 5-year-old adoptive son. Officials said the adoptive parents also launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for their adoptive son’s funeral expenses, only to be steered towards their legal fees. The adoptive mother wrote on the GoFundMe page:
“Tragedy struck our family when our precious baby boy went unresponsive. I rushed him to the ER and they intubated him and he’s been unresponsive ever since. the outcome is not looking good.” The 5-year-old boy, Landon, reportedly died seven days after he was taken to a hospital unconscious. Investigators revealed that the boy had prior injuries and suffered abuse before his death. During questioning, Lauren and Jacob told investigators that the 5-year-old boy was weak from COVID a month prior.
Hospital staff claimed Lauren showed no urgency when they arrived, despite the boy suffering 3 brain bleeds, with the couple waiting an entire day to get him medical attention. The fundraiser, which was removed, raised $5,300 with Lauren begging for sympathy before her adopted son died. According to the police officials, an autopsy revealed the adoptive boy having died as a result of blunt force trauma to his head and neck. Police said the child had multiple bruises on his body, could not breathe on his own and had rotational head trauma consistent with severe child abuse.
One doctor described the abuse as torture. Both parents are accused of sending several text messages, which allegedly show disdain for the victim, with the adoptive mother accused of saying she was going to kill him. The victim’s biological grandmother, Kathie, told investigators she did not notice any signs of abuse until April, 2022 when Lauren no longer let her see Landon. Both suspects were charged with homicide, child endangerment and aggravated assault. Lauren was charged with an additional count of first-degree murder. The couple’s five children were removed from their parents care.