Ryan Lawrence from Syracuse, New York was charged with first-degree murder, in connection to the brutal killing of his 21-month-old daughter Maddox. He pleaded guilty for the heinous crime in Onondaga Country Court.
Lawrence, 25, admitted to battering the toddler with a baseball bat, burning the body and disposing it into the Syracuse creek near the Inner Harbor.
Prior to her death, Maddox had been battling a rare form eye cancer and miraculously overcame it.
The tot’s mom – Morgan Lawrence told the police that her husband was supposed to pick her up on the the evening of February 20 from a Destiny USA shopping mall, where she works. However, she claims that he just gave her the car keys and left the car in the parking lot which was unusual.
When she came home, she found a note from him stating he might harm Maddox and then himself.
Immediately, she called the police and they issued an Amber Alert which caused local law enforcement to perform a massive search of the area.
According to authorities, one day later on February 22, they found Lawrence with the tip of a thrift shop employee who recognized him. That thrift shop is located in Baldwinsville, about 10 miles northwest of Syracuse.
Ryan was undercover but the police still were able to recognize him walking about in a nearby area and took him into custody where he told them that he killed his little girl and where he put the body.
On February 22, Maddox’s body was found in the Inner Harbor in Onondago, Syracuse by police divers about 36 hours after she was reported missing.
Lawrence showed the child no mercy and killed her in one of the most sinister ways. He told officers that he smashed the back of her head with the bat before burning her lifeless body in the fire pit and sinking the body with cinder blocks in the Onondaga creek.
According to Lawrence, he prayed to God and asked for a sign to not kill his daughter before committing the violent act.
“God, if I’m not meant to kill her, make her stumble.” he told Detective Mark Rusin.
Onondaga County district attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said Maddox was already cancer free before she was murdered and that Lawrence appeared to be jealous of his daughter because of all the attention she got due to her fight with cancer, reports WJLA.
According to TWC News, Lawrence’s attorney, Michael Vavonese made a statement about Ryan’s character.
”He was a dutiful, caring and loving father for every moment of Maddox’s life up through the time this incident occurred.”
He also said that he will seek a defense of “extreme emotional distress or insanity” in March for Lawrence..
Lawrence is looking at between 25 years and life in prison and will be sentenced on October 7.
“I think there is a sense of closure in him doing this today and him being willing to come in and plead guilty. And I think it’s certainly a benefit to begin to put this behind them and move on as much as anyone can.” said Judge Jeremy Cali, reports Syracuse.com.
Apparently, Morgan Lawrence and other family members wanted him to plead guilty, so they can avoid the likely dramatization and trauma of a public trial.
”It was an emotional scene inside Onondaga County Court this morning as Ryan Lawrence pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the death of his daughter Maddox, nearly 7 months after her disappearance and death.”