Baby Maddox’s father, Ryan Lawrence, a New York man accused of battering his 21-month-old baby with a baseball bat, burning her body and dumping it into a harbor entered a guilty plea for the gruesome crime, the NY Daily News is reporting.
According to investigators, the 25-year-old man had taken Baby Maddox to an isolated location where he struck her repeatedly with a wooden baseball bat. Lawrence then “placed her body and the baseball bat in a prepared fire pit for three hours” before dumping the little girl’s remains into the Inner Harbor which connects to the Syracuse Onondaga Lake.
A Daily Mail report revealed that the New York father admitted beating Baby Maddox to death because he got pissed over the attention she got after surviving eye cancer. The Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said it was a possible motive for Ryan Lawrence to commit murder.
However, a Syracuse News story paints a different picture of a financially struggling Ryan Lawrence who had a history of mental illness. Syracuse police had been called to deal with his mental issues before, even though they never arrested him. Police say the message that Ryan also left for his wife, Morgan when he disappeared with Baby Maddox suggested that he was suffering from “mental impairment.”
Ryan Lawrence met Morgan Forster in a tea store where they both worked. Morgan got pregnant with Baby Maddox, and they got married. Before Baby Maddox’s first birthday, the couple saw that one of her brown eyes was turning dark.
A trip to the doctor revealed that she had cancer of the retina. For months, the couple drove the little girl into New York City, where she went through grueling six-hour chemotherapy treatments to fight the tumor and the blood vessels feeding it.
After she pulled through, Ryan Lawrence killed Baby Maddox, whose life he had battled to save less than a year before. An Amber Alert was issued for Baby Maddox, February last year when Morgan said she was missing along with her father. Morgan had appealed to her husband on television to return Baby Maddox home.
“If you’re listening, please just bring Maddox home. Maddox I love you honey. Ryan, please, just please call. We want to to know that the both of you are safe.”
People had taken to social media offering to help and praying for the little girl’s safe return, but Baby Maddox was already dead.
Ryan Lawrence was trying to elude police officers, and as temperatures dropped to as low as 20 degrees centigrade, he entered a place he had shopped before to keep warm. He had tried to disguise his looks wearing a wig, bandana, hat and dark sunglasses, but a former employee recognized him, despite his disguise and called 911.
When Lawrence was picked up by police, he had camping gear in his backpack and a book on how to elude being captured. He was questioned for hours by detectives before he confessed that he had killed his young daughter, Baby Maddox. He told detectives where they could find her body.
Baby Maddox had been dead for more than two days. She was pulled out of the water February 23. Ryan’s family is still baffled over how a doting father they thought they knew could kill his own daughter in such a brutal way.
“What we saw of Ryan is that he loved Baby Maddox immensely and so we are struggling to make sense out of this tragedy, but we are not successful and know that we will never be.”
According to another Syracuse News report, Ryan’s plea deal will ensure that he gets a 25-year-to-life sentence, which is less than the maximum punishment of life without parole. Ryan Lawrence also gave up his right to appeal the February, 2015, murder of his daughter, Baby Maddox.
Ryan Lawrence said he had prayed to God to give him a sign not to go through with what he had planned, but he didn’t.
“God if I’m not meant to kill her, make her stumble.”
He is set to be sentenced on October 7 for Baby Maddox’s death.
[Featured Image by Peter Hermes Furian/Shutterstock]