In Ohio County, two children are recovering from abuse and a community is mourning the death of a third.
On Tuesday, Kentucky State Police laid out the timeline of events that lead up to the arrests of 23-year-old Samantha Oakley and 25-year-old Nathaniel Tucker of Hartford.
"I can't understand why," said neighbor Andrea Haynes.
Police are searching for that answer now. Authorities say Oakley left her three oldest boys in Tucker's care Friday night.
Police say Oakley returned Friday when she heard her 3-year-old had a broken leg.
Investigators say when she took him to the hospital, she left behind her 4-year-old and 5-year-old who continued to be abused by Tucker.
"I'm not sure we'll ever establish a motive and it wouldn't matter because when someone injures a child, there shouldn't be any motive," said Corey King with Kentucky State Police.
Detectives say the 5-year-old boy had bruising. Police say the 4-year-old collapsed at his grandparents' house early Saturday morning.
"Overall, it's going to look like the child suffered trauma to the brain. How did it happen really isn't certain. It could have been shaken, it could have been hit, struck with an object, or something internal," King said.
Doctors performed surgeries to try and save 4-year-old John Oakley, but on Monday, he was removed from life support in Cincinnati.
Tucker is charged with murder, criminal abuse, and assault. Oakley is charged with criminal abuse.
"She didn't protect her kids. She left them with her boyfriend and that's not right. I wouldn't do it," Haynes said.
Family members and neighbors tell 14 News Oakley has had Child Protective Services called on her in the past. Detectives are investigating how long she may have known of abuse.
Family members say the pair did not have children together.
Police say all the remaining children are in safe homes.
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