28-year-old Alan Morgan has been charged for the murder of his own son, who he kept locked in the basement ‘because he was struggling to potty train him’.
4-year-old Judah Morgan was found lifeless, bruised, and battered in his bedroom on Monday, investigators said.
The child’s mother, 26-year-old Mary Yoder, has also been charged with two felony counts of neglect.
Speaking to 16 News Now, Judah’s former caregiver, Jenna Hullett, said: “I don’t know how anybody could do this to any child.”
She said that she took care of Judah for many years before he moved back in with his parents, according to the Laporte County Child Protective Services Department.
Court documents show that Yoder called police following her son’s death and told investigators that Alan would physically abuse Judah and would bind him with duct tape.
The autopsy revealed the 4-year-old died of blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in bleeding in the brain.
Morgan would keep Judah in the dark basement and deny him food to punish him for not being potty trained.
But Hullet said: “I don’t think it was because of his lack of being potty trained because he was potty trained before he left my care. I think it was a fear factor.”
Police checked the basement and found duct tape, blankets, and children’s clothes that reeked of urine. They also found a training toilet filled with feces and urine.
The home was also filled with rotten food, trash, animal feces, and a malnourished dog.
Morgan’s brother, Jessie Morgan, said his family was left shocked to find out that the 28-year-old was charged with abusing and murdering his nephew.
“I don’t think any of us have really come to terms with it or woke up from the nightmare,” she said.
Both Yoder and Morgan are in LaPort County Jail. According to WSBT, prosecutors have filed a motion to seek life in prison without parole for Morgan.
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