Entries in Drowned (3)


5-Year-Old Could Face Murder Charge in Drowning Death of Crying Toddler

Burke/Triolo Productions/Comstock/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Kansas City police are trying to determine whether to charge a 5-year-old girl with murder after she admitted that she dragged a crying toddler into a bathtub and held him under water until he stopped crying.

"I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's the youngest suspect I can remember," police spokesman Darin Snapp said. "It's extremely rare."

The girl, who is not being identified because of her age, was left with 18-month-old Jermane Johnson Jr. on June 3 along with two other children and a 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them. The teenager had fallen asleep, police said.

Police originally ruled the death an accident, but it turned into a potential homicide investigation after the 5-year-old told social workers that she held 18-month-old Johnson under water to stop his crying.

She told social workers that she dragged Johnson into the tub, still full of water from when the children took baths earlier that evening, police said.

Police were called to the drowning just before midnight Friday, when the adults returned home and found the boy dead.

"As of right now yes, from her statement, she is a possible suspect," Snapp said.
Snapp said a final decision on how to handle the case will be made by prosecutors after the medical examiner's report is released, a process that could take up to eight weeks.

The victim's family has taken to Facebook to express its grief and issue a plea for donations in the infant's honor.

The highly unusual case was referred to the Jackson County's family courts division and the girl has not been arrested, but she remains a person of interest to police.

Officials are also looking into the welfare of other children in the home and the decision to leave the children alone Friday, according to Snapp. The 16-year-old left in charge of the children reportedly had mental disabilities.

An adult left the children in the care of the teenager in order to travel to a bus station to pick up a relative.

The ABC News affiliate in Kansas City, KMBC-9, spoke to neighbors near the red-brick home where the drowning occurred, one of whom said the family was nice, but that she had experienced troubles with the young girl prior to the drowning.

"She would throw rocks and sticks at them," neighbor Patricia Lewis told KMBC, referring to her small dogs. "They'd get real upset with her."

Others expressed sadness that the death occurred, and horror that a 5-year-old may now face charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Casey Anthony Defense: Caylee Drowned in Family Pool

Orange County Government, Florida(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony's defense team claimed Tuesday that Caylee Anthony drowned in the family's swimming pool on June 16, 2008, weeks before she was reported missing.

"How in the world can a mother wait 30 days before ever reporting her child missing, that's insane, that's bizarre...the answer is actually relatively simple. She never was missing. Caylee Anthony died on June 16, 2008 when she drowned in her family's swimming pool," said Jose Baez, Anthony's defense attorney, who also claimed that Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, found the body and indicated that he helped dispose of the body.

"What makes this case unique…is the family that it happened to. You will hear stories about a family that is incredibly dysfunctional, you will hear about ugly things, secret things, things that people don't speak about," Baez said.

Anthony's defense team alleges that she was sexually abused by her father and brother and hid her daughter's death like she hid the secret of her alleged sexual abuse.

"On June 16, 2008, after Caylee died, Casey did what she's been doing all her life…hiding her pain, going into that dark corner and pretending that she does not live in the situation that she's living in... it all began when Casey was 8 years old and her father came into her room and began to touch her inappropriately and it escalated," Baez said.

The defense lawyer said that Casey Anthony's actions were affected by the abuse she suffered as a child. The attorney said, "She's not guilty of murder... This is not a murder case. This is a sad, tragic accident that snowballed out of control."

Casey Anthony, 25, began crying almost from the first moments of her murder trial as the prosecutor laid out a string of elaborate lies that she allegedly used to avoid her parents for a month and pretend that her 2-year-old daughter Caylee was still alive.

The opening statements began in an Orlando courtroom Tuesday, nearly three years after Caylee was reported missing in the summer of 2008. Anthony, 25, faces a battery of charges including first degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, aggravated child abuse and providing false information to law enforcement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mom Who Drowned Family in Hudson River Tried to Back Out at Last Moment

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A woman who drove her minivan into the frigid waters of the Hudson River, killing herself and her three small children, changed her mind at the last minute, throwing the car into reverse and admitting her mistake to her 10-year-old son who swam to safety.

On Thursday, the boy, Leshaun Armstrong, returned to the dock from where his mother drove into the water. He was accompanied by members of his family.

Minutes after an argument with her boyfriend and father of her three youngest children Tuesday night, Leshanda Armstrong posted an eerie message on Facebook, packed her four children into her minivan, and headed for the Hudson River in Newburgh, N.Y.

Her Facebook message, posted at 7:13 p.m. Tuesday, said, "I'm so sorry everyone forgive me please for what I'm gonna do.... This Is It!!!!" During the ride to the river, her son says she told her children, "You're all going to die with me."

Despite her decision to kill her family, evidence from the scene and interviews with Lashaun indicate that she changed her mind once the vehicle began filling with water.

When police were able to pull the car out of the water Wednesday, they noticed that the gearshift was in reverse, said Lt. Bruce Campbell, a member of the dive team and department spokesman.

Leshaun Armstrong told Maeve Ryan, a Good Samaritan who found Leshaun, who was soaking wet, that his mother was holding onto all four children, including two boys aged 5 and 2 as well as an 11-month-old daughter as the car hit the water. As water rushed in through the windows and the car sank in eight feet of water 25 yards from shore, Leshaun broke free, crawled out a window and swam to safety.

Police also said there were indications that the mother had unbuckled the children and may have been holding them together.

Armstrong's last moments were filled with terror, regret and tenderness. The boy said that just before reaching the water, Armstrong made a final cellphone call to her own mother asking forgiveness. And as he struggled to get out of the car, Leshaun said his mother kissed his head and gave him her blessing.

Minutes before Armstrong left with her kids driving to boat ramp, her aunt called Newburgh police to report the woman and her boyfriend, Jean Pierre, had been having a fight. By the time police arrived at the home, the women and her children were gone.

Leshaun Armstrong is currently staying with relatives.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio