Police seek missing parents after child dies in care of teen sister in Las Vegas

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By Pat St.Claire

CNN

(CNN) — Discovery of the body of a young girl who may have been dead for weeks has led to the arrest of her teen sister — herself a mother — and a search for the girls’ parents, who may be in California with five other children, police in North Las Vegas, Nevada, said.

The investigation began Wednesday when the 4-month-old infant of the 17-year-old was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in suburban Las Vegas, authorities said.

Police arrested the teen mother on one count of child abuse with substantial bodily harm. She was taken to a juvenile facility.

Police department spokesman Aaron Patty told CNN affiliate KVVU that the “infant did not receive the proper care and nourishment that she needed at the time, which is what led to the arrest of the 17-year-old.”

A day later, a search warrant was served at the family’s home. That’s when police found the body of the 3-year-old girl, who had apparently been dead “for at least a few weeks,” according to police.

The teen mother was then arrested on one count of child abuse with death in connection with her younger sister’s death, according to a police statement.

The parents left the home several months ago with the other five children, ranging in age from 1 to 9 years old, but, according to Patty, “they left the 3-year-old child and the 17-year-old sister at the residence alone.”

Authorities are seeking the parents, 39-year-old Jondrew Lachaux and 38-year-old Kellie Phillips.

Police say the five children with them may be in danger. “We believe that they went to California at some time and may have gone back and forth during this multiple month process when they left,” Patty said.

No Amber Alert was issued, according to police, because the parents are not suspects in their grandchild’s death, but rather are wanted for questioning.

“We are asking for the assistance of the public in locating these two individuals,” said Patty. “We believe they can answer many questions on what led up to the death of this child.”

The 4-month-old infant was last reported to be hospitalized in critical condition. Her mother’s name was not disclosed.

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10 comments

  • Carlie

    So, in the beginning of the article it states that the deceased 3 year old is the teens younger sister… Then at the end of the article it refers to the teens parents as the toddlers grandparents… How in the hell does that work?

    • Amy

      That’s exactly what I was wondering! I went back and reread the article 3 times to make sure I didn’t miss something…like the 4 mo. old hadn’t died too?? I’m so confused.

    • bob

      I would imagine it’s even more confusing than it sounds. It’s like a basket full of rats, randomly breeding.

      “Jondrew”…..that tells me all I needed to know.

      • laytonian

        What does it tell you? That there are parents PROHIBITED from getting birth control? That there are parents who are in generational poverty? That there are parents who are mentally deficient?
        I know people in Utah whose names are spelled strangely. I know what THAT tells me.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        LAYTONIAN – It tells me that children who are raised in a loving family that includes their bio-mother and father, and who are taught concepts that include morality and chastity have a huge advantage over children who think the answers to life’s problems include birth control when they are in their early teens.

      • Mikee

        RE: ANOTHERBOB

        Since the 17 year old had been living with her biological mother and father in the past, and had a child of her own, doesn’t that tell you the family didn’t choose birth control and that the biological mother and father were present? Where was the advantage you claim existed?

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Re MIKEE:
        It tells me that this girl’s bio-parents didn’t teach their children the concept of morality and chastity, as this story seems to indicate. Lucky is the child who has bio-parents that TEACH their children those concepts.

  • Angela

    I’m wondering if the parents did this to there own child and that’s why they took off so fast and there daughter didn’t even know they did this to there own daughter or granddaughter whoever the child was because I’m confused on that part.

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