Dying Too Young: Luke O'Daniel

Oklahoman Modified: March 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm •  Published: March 25, 2009
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Name: Luke O'Daniel

Age: 9 months

Place of residence: Weatherford

Died: Sept. 5, 2007

What happened: Luke was in the care of an unlicensed home day care operator when he was found without a pulse in a playpen. Paramedics could not revive the baby, and he was pronounced dead at Weatherford Regional Hospital. An autopsy revealed a fractured skull and that he died of a brain injury. Lindsay Pope, the day care operator, later told police she threw Luke when he wouldn't stop crying. Pope was charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors plan to pursue the case even though an appeals court ruled her confession cannot be used against her.

Other: Kim and Shane O'Daniel, Luke's parents, have a 5-year-old son and welcomed another boy in August, but Luke's death remains a heavy loss. “We just lean on each other to make it through,” Shane said, adding, “You hold your kids more.”

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