Mother beats two-year-old foster son to death after researching child injuries on the internet
Lisa Jo Vanderlinden, who is a licensed practical nurse and had fostered and adopted several children in the past, face life behind bars without parole
A nurse has been charged with the murder of her toddler foster son after she allegedly beat him to death in the family home in Utah. Court documents revealed that she researched child injuries on the internet shortly before the murder. Duchesne County deputies received reports of a dead child in Neola on August 5 this year and were immediately dispatched to Lisa Jo Vanderlinden's home.
When they reached the home, they discovered the toddler, who has been identified as two-year-old L. C., dead with several bruises and cuts on his face and body, the Daily Mail reported. A medical examiner determined at a later time that the child passed away from internal injuries that had been the result of blunt force trauma that was consistent with child abuse.
41-year-old Vanderlinden is a licensed practical nurse who is reported to have fostered and adopted several children in the past. Court documents revealed that she told the authorities that the night before the toddler was found dead, she had been "mad and frustated" with him.
The police said that the mother removed the child from dinner on August 4 evening and he started throwing up later. The nurse is said to have bathed him and changed his diaper a few times that night. Documents showed that a family member is said to have heard a "loud bang" that night coming from the bathroom where the mother was looking after the toddler.
After the noise from the bathroom, the documents said that the child was not acting normally and would also not walk. The other children who were in the house that night told the authorities that she has been angry and yelling at the toddler.
Investigators on the case looked at Vanderlinden's search history on the phone and found that she had made a few searches on the internet related to child injury. The injuries that the child suffered were also the same as what she searched for. The authorities then determined that the people in the home at the time of the child's death did not know about his fatal injuries.
Vanderlinden and her husband are said to have taken the boy and his sister into their care in April 2017. They lived in the same home with the couple's biological children and other foster children. According to the court documents, Vanderlinden found the toddler to be "difficult and challenging, and while she wanted to keep and adopt the sister, she did not want to adopt him".
The investigators then said that the mother was "completely indifferent" to the well-being of the child and that she did not seek medical attention for him. In what court documents revealed as cases of unsubstantiated child abuse, the toddler's natural mother has complained on previous visists about the bruises to his face.
Vanderlinden has now been charged with first-degree felony aggravated murder. If she is convicted, she will face life behind bars without parole. Vanderlinden's natural children and the foster children have been removed from the home after the toddler's death.