Dead Quadriplegic Girl's Adoptive Mother, Lorrie Thomas, to be Charged with Murder?
In a sad and disturbing story, CNN and the Associated Press reported about Shylea Myza Thomas, a 9-year-old quadriplegic child, whose body was found Thursday in a "black trash bag, stuffed into a plastic bin with mothballs and locked in a storage unit" in Michigan. Another report indicates that Lorrie M. Thomas, Shylea's 39-year-old adoptive mother (and also her aunt), has been taken into custody while charges against her are weighed by authorities. Court documents, which were filed to take custody of seven other children in the home, also identified a 39-year-old as Lorrie Thomas of Flint.
Apparently, Shylea Thomas had been pulled out of school way back in January of this year, and her relatives indicated that they hadn't seen her in six weeks (a neighbor didn't even know she lived at the home). Authorities have speculated that the mothballs found with the body were put there "in an apparent attempt to mask odors from the dead body". Also, Lorrie Thomas had repeatedly told authorities that Shylea "was out of state". Still, authorities are waiting on the results of an autopsy before they move forward with any charges.
But if the language coming out of the Genesee County prosecutor's office is any indication, the situation may may bode poorly for Shylea Myza Thomas's adoptive mom/aunt. WJRT reports that Prosecutor David Leyton has indicated she "could face a slew of charges, including felony murder, first-degree child abuse and welfare fraud." Further, the AP added:
"'Before I charge somebody with a crime of this magnitude, I want to be sure. There's more information I would like to have to help me make a decision,' by Friday, the prosecutor said."
We'll keep you posted on further developments in the case.
- CNN: Quadriplegic child found dead in storage facility
- AP: Charges weighed in Mich. quadriplegic girl's death (Google News)
- Flint Journal: Prosecutor could decide Thursday on criminal charges in death of 9-year-old quadriplegic found dead in storage unit (MLive.com)
- Criminal Law Information Center (provided by Law Office of Joseph J. Colarusso)
- Criminal Law Center (FindLaw)
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