5-year-old dies from blunt force trauma; mother, boyfriend arrested
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX/Gray News) - A Mississippi family is mourning the death of a 5-year-old child as they plan his memorial service.
WLOX reports that 5-year-old Edward King Lamptey Jr. died from blunt force trauma earlier this month.
The boy’s family initially blamed mold in their home for his death. However, investigators found that wasn’t the case and the state medical examiner found wounds on Edward’s body.
Edward’s mother, 31-year-old Lachelle Washington, has since been charged with child deprivation of necessaries with substantial harm.
Washington’s live-in boyfriend, 29-year-old Denzel Jamal Blakely, has been reportedly charged with murder.
Officers initially responded to a medical emergency involving Edward. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital with an autopsy revealing he suffered blunt-force trauma to the head and body.
“He loved to play. Loved to be around his siblings. He actually loved going to church,” Delphena Lodiong, Edward‘s aunt, said.
Memorial services are now being arranged for the 5-year-old.
“It’s very hard on the family now because it’s always tragic when a child dies, but in a way like this. It just hurts knowing that he suffered,” Lodiong said.
Lodiong suspects child abuse was at play and is asking for answers.
“With this being child abuse awareness month, I wish a lot of people would wake up and see the signs,” she said. “There were times when the kids kept to themselves. They didn’t talk a lot. They separated themselves from other children. It’s just small things that you don’t pick up on. "
She also said that Edward’s preschool program would send him home with food sporadically but that his mother provided what she could for her children.
“Chelly was a very caring person. She took the kids to church. She took care of her kids,” Lodiong said. “He has siblings who have to live with this. We’re going to provide them with as much love, care and understanding.”
Edward’s grandmother, Alice Carlisle, said the family is trying to cope with his death.
“We’re real heartbroken,” Carlisle said. “Both sides of the family are staying together.”
Edward celebrated his 5th birthday earlier this month.
Family and friends said they will hold a balloon release memorial on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Jones Park.
Edward’s body has been taken to Texas for funeral services.
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