Mother's boyfriend charged in death of 2-year-old - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Mother's boyfriend charged in death of 2-year-old

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Lajuan D. Hayes (Source: LMDC) Lajuan D. Hayes (Source: LMDC)
Sgt. Josh Myers Sgt. Josh Myers
Therese Sirles Therese Sirles
Justine O'Flynn Justine O'Flynn

SHIVELY, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville man charged with killing a child left in his care remains behind bars.

Shively Police Sgt. Josh Myers said what began as a call for help around 8 p.m. May 25 in the 1800 block of Appleton Lane quickly proved to be a much more dire situation.

"EMS got there first," said Myers, "thought that they were going on a child that was having a seizure. Once they got there, they noticed numerous injuries on the child that certainly caused them to raise an eyebrow."

Myers said that's when his department became involved, having learned from paramedics that the unresponsive two-year-old boy had suffered beatings and burns all over his body.

"He ultimately went to surgery for contusions to his head {Tuesday} night and passed away in the operating room," said Myers.

Police arrested Lajuan D. Hayes, 25, on a charge of murder in connection with the child's death. While Myers said Hayes is not the biological father of his girlfriend's late son, he cited it was not the first time the child had been left in Hayes' care.

"He actually watched the child on a regular basis," said Myers. "The child's mother was at work."

"Who we choose to watch our baby is absolutely critical," said Therese Sirles, child advocacy director at Kosair Children's Hospital. "Recently Kentucky was ranked number one in child abusive deaths."

Sirles said the crime cannot only be prevented, but detected early on.

"If a child is less than four months of age and has any bruising of any kind anywhere on their body," began Justine O'Flynn, a Kosair Children's Hospital nurse and Just For Kids Critical Care Center Data System Analyst, "and if a child is under four years of age and has bruising on their trunk ears or neck these are likely signs the child has been physically abused."

O'Flynn said the tell-tale signs can mean the difference between life and death.

"There's an 86 percent likelihood that child will die in a future attack," said O'Flynn.

Shively police are continuing their investigation the death. Hayes remains lodged at Louisville Metro Corrections, In addition to murder, he is also facing charges of robbery, theft by unlawful taking and driving on a revoked license. Arraignment is scheduled for March 27. Bond has been set at $1,000,000.

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