Mother of Severely Abused Toddler Arrested
Michael Konopasek, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City police have arrested a mother in connection with a child abuse case in a southwest Oklahoma City hotel.
Officers arrested 31-year-old Leana Lauck on Wednesday. Police say her 3-year-old son was severely abused at the LaQuinta Inn near South Meridian and Interstate 40.
Lauck told police one of her friends is responsible for abusing the toddler. She is not being accused of actually abusing her son, but police say she waited nearly 18 hours before bringing the abused child to the hospital.
"At some point she did actually have contact with the child, [saw] the child, [knew] the child was injured and did nothing about that," Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said.
A police report released Wednesday revealed the toddler was taken to Children's Hospital on Sunday with numerous bruises on his body. The boy had an injury on the base of his skull with the possibility of brain injury.
"[The] scalp was removed, part of it," family member Stacy Felkins said as she held back tears.
Felkins is a distant cousin to the baby's mother. She says her family found out the boy had lye burns on his throat, face and eyes, had been sexually abused, forced to drink bleach and hanged from a ceiling with a dog collar.
"His big sister said, 'I saw people trying to make him drink stuff, then he went to sleep and I think he's dead,'" Felkins said.
Felkins was emotional as she thought about the suffering child.
"He may die and he's had things happen to him that may never go away if he does make it. It makes me sick."
Police say they are still searching for the person responsible for the actual abuse.
News 9 has learned the baby is improving at Children's Hospital. Doctors tell investigators the child will not have brain damage. The child is currently in DHS custody.