Teen Mother Accused of Killing Baby in Clothes Dryer
It's a Louisiana crime so cruel that it's making newscasts and newspapers around the world. It's the mother in Bogalusa, Louisiana who put her three-month-old baby in a clothes dryer and started the machine, tumbling and burning the baby boy until he was dead. The young mother is now being charged with first degree murder.
Lakeisha Adams is 18-years-old, and until Monday, she was the mother of two young children. But police say at some point that day, she killed her 3-month-old baby boy by placing him in a clothes dryer and turning it on.
"It's probably one of the worst I've seen," said Sgt. Daryl Darden, Bogalusa Police. "When we got to the house, to see the baby like that... it really got to a lot of the policemen. I guess they thought about their own children."
The young mother's best friend, Nicole Walker, says she can't understand it. "I just can't believe she's done that," she said. "I mean, we were always so cool and we were friends... I can't believe she's done that."
Police say they first learned of the tragedy just before 7:00 p.m. Monday when they got a call from Lakeisha. According to Sgt. Darden, "She claimed that somebody had come in the house and placed her baby in the dryer of the house, and when she came to the house, she found her baby in the dryer, got the baby out and called the police department."
When the police arrived at the mother's house, they found the infant lying dead on her sofa. The baby was badly burned. There was no hope of saving the child when officers arrived; the baby had been dead for several hours. Investigators say Lakeisha Adams later confessed that she was the one who put the baby in the dryer. The biggest and most difficult question that people in Bogalusa, and the police, now have is "why?"
Reporter: Did the mother offer any explanation why she did this?
Darden: No, she didn't. She didn't talk very much. Just to the fact that, after we talked to her for a while, she gave us, you know, what happened to the child.
When questioned, Lakeisha's best friend says she had seen no indication that she was abusing her children.
Reporter: Was she having any trouble caring for the babies?
Walker: Ah... no.
Reporter: She didn't sound like she was depressed or anything like that?
Walker: No, she ain't telling me.
And people who have known Lakeisha Adams all of her life are puzzled, too. "It's terrible," said her long-time neighbor Ethel Henry. "It just couldn't sleep last night. I just couldn't get it out of my mind, you know?
Another neighbor, Reverend Mertis Fortenberry said, "It's sad... and I hate it... because they've been my neighbors for a long time."
"A lot of people are concerned," said Joel Miller, a community activist. "They're shocked because they know this is a nice family, and its shocking to us all."
Adams' other child, a one-year-old girl, is now in state protective custody. Tuesday morning, Lakeisha Adams hugged her own mother and grandmother as she was led back to jail. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.
The St. Tammany coroner, who performed the autopsy on the baby, says the infant had third degree burns over 50 percent of his body, along with blunt-force head trauma caused by the dryer. Bogalusa Police say they are not aware of any previous complaints of child abuse against the mother.