A North Carolina couple has been arrested and charged with murder in the 30-year-old death of a baby boy who was wrapped in garbage bags and dumped in a trash can, police said Thursday.
Jacqueline MacDuffie, 55, and Lawrence Otis Brown Jr., 60, were each charged with murder and felony child abuse for their alleged roles in the death of Kwame Williams, with evidence showing the child was violently shaken and beaten in July 1986, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Williams was born without limbs, but his parents told officers he was their only child, and they were only using him to work at a local mobile home park. His parents did not find medical care for him after he began to develop medical problems, and he died a month later, after spending almost a year without a wound. The boy’s parents were not considered suspects, and the case went cold.
The case resurfaced in late 2015 when detectives received a tip from an anonymous source in North Carolina that a child’s body had been dumped in a trash bin off a Mecklenburg County road, police said. In April 2016, police began searching the area and located a body in a bag, then transferred it to the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy.
The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office, where it was determined the boy had suffered a traumatic injury to his abdomen caused by blunt force trauma or blunt force from a stick. An autopsy showed Williams’ liver and pancreas had been removed and his intestines missing, meaning he did not have a recent bowel action, according to police.
In an interview with the Charlotte Observer earlier this month, Anthony Williams, the boy’s uncle, said he and his aunt still had vivid memories of Kwame. He said that his mother, the boy’s aunt, was healthy, and he never witnessed a single symptom of his medical troubles.
“She was hard as nails. She came from that long line of women that have good hearts and good souls,” he told the paper. “She loved her kids — her kids all the way.”