Police “unfortunately confident” divers recovered baby Maddox’s body; DA suspects father’s jealousy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Divers for the New York State Police Department plunged into icy waters after officers near Syracuse arrested and interviewed the father of a missing child. Police say they pulled the body of a child from the water, and they believe it to be missing 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence.

The suspect behind the abduction, Ryan Lawrence, 24, is the child’s father, but officers said he is known to have mental health issues and can be emotionally unstable. Officers say he is facing charges of second-degree murder for the death of his daughter Maddox.


The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office says Ryan suggested he was jealous of the attention his daughter was getting during an interview, according to CBS contributors in Syracuse. The baby had been diagnosed with cancer.

“She was a fighter: She was fighting a very unusual form of cancer,” the DA told CBS contributors. “It was expensive, it was time consuming.”

Police said although they don’t have 100 percent confirmation that the body belongs to Maddox, a Syracuse Police Department official confirmed they are “unfortunately confident” that the body belongs to the 21-month-old.

Saturday night, Ryan and Maddox disappeared from their Syracuse home, according to CBS contributors.

A search spanned from the weekend through Monday, when officers confirmed they arrested Ryan Lawrence on a tip from a 911 call. That caller identified Ryan Lawrence from the outstanding Amber Alert and media reports issued after Maddox’s mother came forward to police.

Officers say they acted immediately to arrest the man, and say details on his condition, helpfulness and more will follow as the investigation continues to unfold.

Ryan Lawrence will face arraignment within the week, police say.

CBS contributors say Lawrence could serve 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charge on Wednesday morning.


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