Indiana boy, 10, who died in ‘deplorable living conditions’ was physically abused, sister charged with murder

Indiana boy, 10, who died in ‘deplorable living conditions’ was physically abused, sister charged with murder
April Wright (Lake County Sheriff’s Department)

MERRILLVILLE, INDIANA: A 10-year-old boy’s sister and another woman have been charged on Friday, October 23, after the child was found dead. An autopsy has stated that the injuries found on the body of Leviticus Kuchta were consistent with "a history of ongoing physical abuse to the child," police said. April Wright and Rachel R Wright, both aged 26, are now facing charges, including murder, aggravated battery and child neglect resulting in death.

Merrillville Deputy Police Chief Kostas Nuses said, as reported by The Times of Northwest Indiana, that the victim was found dead on October 12 at a home in the 7100 block of Fillmore Street. When police officers responded to the scene after receiving information about an unresponsive child, they saw “deplorable living conditions”. Kuchta was declared dead at the scene, while another child, aged three, was taken away from the house by Child Protective Services, police said. “Investigators conducted several interviews over the course of the following days that revealed the initial reporting details of the death provided by Rachel and April Wright to not be true. Preliminary findings during an autopsy revealed several injuries consistent with a history of ongoing physical abuse to the child,” Nuses added.

However, when cops tried to contact the women regarding the little boy’s death, they were nowhere to be found. However, after several attempts police eventually got to know the location of the suspects. April and Rachel both were living at a family member's residence in Valparaiso from where they were arrested and sent to the Lake County Jail. No bond has been set for the two. As per reports, this was not the first time though April’s name has come up in a violent case. This year in February only, she pleaded guilty to felony domestic battery after attacking an ex-girlfriend, Man-nisha D Bowers, in a Hobart motel room on January 6, 2019. It has been said that in that attack, April pinned down the woman on a bed, threatened her with a knife, used pepper-spray on her face, and also punched her.

But the victim in January last year case and her sister, Donisha L Bowers, were charged in another violent case after they allegedly attacked April at her home on Fillmore Place on January 12, 2019. The sisters were accused of breaking into April’s home, attacking her and another unidentified woman. Bowers duo also allegedly hit an 18-month-old baby, records stated. After pleading guilty, the pair is awaiting trial.

In another incident, an Iowa mother is facing a retrial after she allegedly admitted to strangling her five-year-old daughter to death. Kelsie Thomas is accused of killing Cloe Chandler two years ago using a pair of pajama pants. The mother initially claimed that the little girl killed herself by mistake, but later confessed to the murder as the victim allegedly reminded her of her abusive ex, Steven Chandler. “Ms Thomas, through this walk-through, it did strike me as off that there really wasn’t any emotion involved in this, at this point, we were less than 24 hours from the death of her daughters. And there really wasn’t any emotion involved with this, essentially walking officers and investigators through how she found her daughter dead,” officer Michael Sieren, who was one of the first responders after the incident, said.

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