A mother and her partner have been arrested, charged with child abuse and first-degree manslaughter.
Baltimore police said the search for Malachi Lawson came to an end when the 4-year-old's mother, Alicia Lawson, confessed her son wasn't missing, but dead. His body was found in a dumpster in Baltimore, WBAL reported.
A medical examiner is now trying to determine the exact cause of the child's death, but police said there were signs of injuries on his body, WBAL reported.
Both Alicia Lawson, and her partner, Shatilca Lawson, face 11 charges including involuntary manslaughter, first-degree child abuse, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and false statement charges, the Baltimore Sun reported, but the State's Attorney's Office may file additional counts against the couple, WBAL reported.
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Police said that the women put the child a tub after he soiled himself while they cleaned his clothing.
"When they turned back around, he had suffered from multiple serious burns to his entire lower body from the waist down to his feet. They could see skin from his body floating in the water after they pulled him from the tub," police said in the charging documents obtained by WBAL.
During the nine days after he was burned, police said neither woman took Malachi Lawson to the hospital and tried to treat the burns themselves because they were afraid the boy would be taken from them by authorities, the Sun reported.
Police however, during a search of the home, said the water in the bathroom did not get warmer than luke warm, the Sun reported.
The couple also said they had a past history with child protective services, police documents said according to the newspaper.
Alicia Lawson said she found him Thursday unresponsive in his bed. He was surrounded by "a puddle of wetness," according to police documents, WBAL reported.
Alicia Lawson told police she wrapped Malachi Lawson in a blanket, called a Lyft, and when she got to the destination, she then put her son into a trash bag and put him in a dumpster, the Sun reported.