- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The mother of a missing toddler has been accused of child neglect and giving false information to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office investigators.

Lonna Lauramore was arrested late Tuesday, Chief Tom Hackney said. He said she lied to police after 21-month-old Lonzie Barton was reported missing on July 24, hampering their investigation in its early stages.

“From the beginning involving Lonna Lauramore, there’s been a pattern of deception, of lies … in looking for her own 21-month old. Why?” Hackney told reporters.

Lauramore’s boyfriend, Ruben Ebron Jr., was arraigned Monday on charges of felony child neglect and giving false information to police. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Sept. 2.

Hackney said investigators have learned that the couple got into an argument over a bruise on Lonzie’s head hours before he disappeared.

The boy also had a “yellow fluid” coming from his ears, and he was lethargic and vomiting, Hackney said.

Still, even with these injuries Lauramore then went to work and left Lonzie and his 5-year-old sister with Ebron, according to officials. Hackney said Ebron was a drug dealer who kept narcotics in the one-bedroom apartment within reach of the children.

Ebron told police he left the child in his car alone for a few moments to go back inside the apartment, and when he returned he saw the car being driven away with the boy inside.

Later, police released surveillance video showing Ebron’s car driving by, and then a man they described as Ebron running back the opposite direction just minutes later.

Police have found the car but are still looking for Lonzie Barton. They are investigating the case as a homicide.

Lauramore was booked into Duval County jail Tuesday night. It’s not known whether she has a lawyer.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide