Illinois mother sentenced to 35 years in prison for beating one-year-old to death and dumping body in river
Baker then came up with a ploy and approached the police, claiming that her son had been kidnapped. She claimed that Bryeon was attacked and abducted by three Hispanic men.
A woman from Illinois has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for beating her one-year-old child to death with a belt and then throwing his body into a river. Reports state that 27-year-old Lakeshia Baker also feigned a kidnapping, claiming her son had been abducted.
Baker was sentenced on Thursday after she pleaded guilty to the murder of one-year-old Bryeon Hunter, which occurred in April 2013.
According to the prosecutors, Baker and her then-boyfriend, Michael Scott, reportedly beat the child with a belt and plastic hangers and then left him to die on the bathroom floor inside their Maywood home in Illinois on April 5, 2013, Daily Mail reported.
The prosecutors also alleged that Scott covered the child's mouth, in an attempt to stifle his screams so that his grandmother wouldn't hear him.
Reports state that when the couple realized that the toddler had died, they stuffed his body in a backpack and drove to the Des Plaines river and dumped the bag in the waterbody.
Baker then came up with a ploy and approached the police, claiming that her son had been kidnapped. She claimed that Bryeon was attacked and abducted by three Hispanic men when she and the child were on their way to a McDonald's. She even picked out three men in a police mug book, according to reports.
The child's mother reportedly also made her other four-year-old son practice their cover-up story in case the child was questioned.
Baker, while talking to a local TV station, said: "They pulled up out of the alleyway and told me, 'Didn't we say we didn't want to see you here no more?' They pulled down my hair and pulled me in the car and started beating me and all I heard was my baby just screaming."
Reports state that the woman even went to the length of injuring herself and appeared in news reports with a swollen eye.
Shortly after the woman told the police about the kidnapping, an Amber Alert was set off and abandoned buildings, trash bins and industrial areas in the vicinity were searched by authorities and volunteers.
Baker, however, admitted that the kidnapping story was a lie when she was questioned by the authorities.
The child's body was found a month after the killing, in a heavily decomposed state and it took officials months to positively identify him, according to reports.