Stigler baby died after unauthorized visit to mother, report says

A baby boy who was not supposed to be left unsupervised with his mother after experiencing a serious head injury and broken bones in her care died in April 2011 after once again being left with her, Oklahoma Department of Human Services records reveal.
by Randy Ellis Published: December 8, 2012
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Less than a month later, on Jan. 2, 2011, DHS received a report that Landon had suffered ankle fractures while in Lunceford's care.

Lunceford “reported that Landon likely obtained the fractures from her performing physical therapy exercises on him,” the report said.

DHS workers substantiated a finding of abuse by Lunceford and once again recommended court intervention.

DHS was granted emergency custody of Landon, who was placed with his father on Jan. 4, 2011.

This time the Haskell County district attorney's office, which was now headed by Farley Ward, followed up by filing a petition alleging that Landon was a deprived child.

Landon was with his father on April 10, 2011, when the father “had an emergency requiring him to leave the home,” DHS reported.

The father asked a relative to stay with the child until the mother could pick him up.

The mother told investigators she placed her son on a machine that monitored his breathing and oxygen levels and he slept through the night. Doctors required the monitor to be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, following the October head injury, according to a court affidavit.

Lunceford stated that she woke up about 5:30 a.m. April 11, 2011, after the monitor went off, but found his heart rate and oxygen levels to be good and turned off the monitor, the report said. About 30 minutes later, she reported getting up to feed him and finding him unresponsive.

Lunceford was able to revive Landon, but he died early the next morning.

The state medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and said Landon died from complications stemming from a blunt traumatic injury to his brain resulting from injuries sustained in October 2010, the DHS report said. The medical examiner also reported finding that Landon had suffered a recent fracture of his left thigh bone that was healing.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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