A Pennsylvania man is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend’s four-year-old son, while the suspect’s mother is accused of helping him evade police.
Keith Jordan Lambing, 20, of Butler, was charged with homicide and rape in connection with four-year-old Bentley Miller’s death, the Daily Mail reported.
Lambing’s mother, Kristen Herold, 43, was charged with child endangerment and hindering apprehension for allegedly hiding her son in the attic of an abandoned home to help him avoid police.
Both are being held in Butler County Prison.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the boy died of severe blood loss from sodomy, suffered a serious burn to his left hand, and sustained bruises to the head, trunk, and extremities.
Police responding to a report of an unconscious child in a car at 9:30 a.m. on March 21 discovered the child with Herold in the vehicle.
Herold told police she picked the boy up from a Super 8 motel where Lambing, who is not the child’s biological father, stayed with his girlfriend and the child.
Police say she was about to drop off the four-year-old at his biological father’s house, though he was bleeding.
Herold pulled over and called police once Miller became unconscious.
Police say Lambing was alone with the child at the time of the alleged assault.
The boy was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital and did not regain consciousness. Doctors pronounced him dead an hour later.
The boy’s mother and Lambing’s girlfriend, Mackenzie Peters, were charged with child endangerment Thursday in connection with the burn injury the boy suffered before his death, WTAE reported.
Police searched for Lambing and found him in an attic of an abandoned building the next day, where police say his mother hid him.
Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said he will decide after the preliminary hearing whether to seek the death penalty for Lambing.
“I have never seen anything like it in 22 years as an attorney,” he told WTAE. “It’s horrific. It’s unimaginable that somebody could actually do this to any human being let alone a 4-year-old.”
When a reporter asked Lambing before his court appearance Monday if he killed Miller, he appeared to cry and replied, “No sir.”
Miller’s aunt has set up a GoFundMe page for his funeral expenses.