A mother of a 19-year-old autistic and blind teen has been charged with second-degree murder in his death, as well as elder abuse.
Polk County Sheriff's deputy found Kimberly Lightwine, 42, and her son, Austin Anderson, 19, lying in a field on August 29, wearing nothing but underwear. Anderson was dead upon police discovering him, and Lightwine said, "I killed my kid," as reported by investigators on the scene.
A statement indicating probable cause that was used to charge Lightwine with the act of murder says that she had driven her son to the field and let him die, then telling investigators, "It's my fault, and you should charge me with murder right now for my son's death, and I'm not joking."
More on the death of Austin Anderson and the charges against his mother, Kimberly Lightwine, at 5 & 6. pic.twitter.com/IvtjpJAC7MHowever, Lightwine's sister, Stephanie Saloga, shared this week that Lightwine stated these words while she was still drugged and recovering, adding that there is more to the story. Saloga shared that she spoke with her sister following Lightwine supposedly recovering from the effects of the drugs, and got her side of the story, as USA Today notes.
— KY3 News (@kytv) September 6, 2016
Saloga said Lightwine reportedly had gotten a call on August 27 that had coaxed Anderson and Lightwine out of the apartment that night. Upon leaving their apartment and entering the parking lot, the mother and son were abducted by three people. Saloga went on to say that the abductors had beaten Lightwine and broken her leg, and then left them to die. Saloga explained further as to what Lightwine meant when she said she killed her son.
"When she made the comment that she killed her son, she was meaning that she wasn't able to get up off the ground to care for him and attend to his needs," Saloga said. "Anybody who knows my sister knows that she loves that boy more than life itself. She would never, ever hurt him."
Lightwine's sister shares that she knows the trio who abducted her but maintains that she is unclear as to their motivation for the act that night. She went on to state that her sister does have a history of drug abuse and perhaps that the abduction is connected to this part of her life.
Saloga notes that the Polk County Sheriff's Office is reluctant to listen to her information regarding the case and are acting dismissively towards her. She shared that it is frustrating to hear all of the negative comments people are making about her sister online.
The sheriff's office for the county has not responded to any requests by media for comment. The police records filed in the case only list Lightwine as the suspect in the death of Anderson.
The family of the boy's father also feels that police are withholding additional information about the case. Anderson's aunt Diana Cope shares that she hopes they keep investigating and don't just settle on Lightwine as the only suspect.
"We believe there's more to the story. We hope they don't stop looking for whoever really did it."Cope spoke of the mother of Austin, stating that Lightwine would never hurt her son in her right mind.
"(Austin Anderson) never came to his dad's home abused. In her right mind she would never harm him — never. Never in a million years."Austin's parents divorced when he was a baby, yet his father, Robert Anderson, still saw the boy every couple of weeks. Cope explained that his mother was interviewed by police while she was still under the influence of meth and that parts of her testimony are being misconstrued.
For instance, terms like "Go to God," Cope shares, meant go find help and trust that he will help you through this.
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