An Indiana boy who died earlier this month appears to have been the victim of ongoing child abuse, and now two women, including the boy’s sister, are accused of being responsible for his death, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
Prosecutors on Friday charged April Wright and Rachel R. Wright, both 26, with murder, aggravated battery and child neglect resulting in death.
The charges come after April Wright’s 10-year-old brother, Leviticus Kuchta, was found dead October 12 in their home in Merrillville, Indiana.
Police officers had been called to the home after a report of an unresponsive child. The officers discovered “deplorable living conditions” once inside the residence, Merrillville Deputy Police Chief Kostas Nuses told the newspaper.
Leviticus had been in April Wright’s care and was pronounced dead at the house. Child protective services also removed a 3-year-old child.
Investigators determined that initial statements made by Rachel and April Wright were not true, and an autopsy identified multiple injuries “consistent with a history of ongoing physical abuse to the child,” Nuses told the newspaper.
Officers then tried to get back in contact with April and Rachel Wright to interview them again, but the women were difficult to locate. Police eventually obtained information that the pair were at a family member’s home 15 miles away in Valparaiso, and they were subsequently arrested.
Both women are being held in the Lake County Jail without bond.
In February, April Wright was sentenced to probation after she pleaded guilty to attacking a former girlfriend in a motel room in 2019. Authorities alleged that Wright had pinned the victim to a bed, threatened her with a knife, pepper-sprayed her face and also punched her, according to court records reviewed by the Times.
The victim in that case and another woman were later charged in connection with breaking into April Wright’s home, striking her and another woman and kicking an 18-month-old, the newspaper reports.
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