LAKE CHARLES, La. - The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss two arrests which resulted after a child cruelty investigation.
During the press conference, Sheriff Tony Mancuso announced the arrest of two people after a three-year-old boy was brought to a hospital with a brain injury. Hospital staff stated the boy was immediately brought into surgery. Detectives were also advised that the boy had extensive injuries and bruising from head to toe, in different stages of healing; which meant the bruises had occurred over an extended period of time, Sheriff Mancuso stated. Detectives were advised by medical staff they suspected the injuries sustained to the child were non-accidental.
During further investigation, detectives spoke with the child's stepmother, Jessica P. Matthews, 26, Lake Charles. Matthews advised detectives she was at home when she found the boy on the floor appearing to have a seizure, according to Mancuso. She stated she placed the boy on the floor of his room and went to get dressed and then called the boy's father, Tyler N. Laborde, 26, Lake Charles, at which time he came home and they brought the boy to the hospital.
After further questioning Matthews told detectives on the previous day Laborde threw his four-year-old daughter out of her room into the hallway, causing her to fall, after she took food from a one-year old girl, who is also living at the home. Matthews stated Laborde then placed the four-year-old in time out for approximately four hours. The sheriff stated she also advised detectives on a previous occasion the three-year old boy had been placed in time out for approximately three to four hours by Laborde for spilling water. Matthews also told detectives she and Laborde discipline their children, but she never leaves marks. She stated Laborde left bruises on the boy's legs after spanking him with a belt. Matthews also advised detectives five days ago Laborde held the boy's face in the toilet, nearly touching the water, because he did not say he needed to use the bathroom.
When detectives spoke with Laborde he denied throwing his four-year-old daughter. Laborde admitted to spanking the boy the previous day, Sheriff Mancuso said. Laborde also advised detectives Matthews was the one who put the children in time out on their knees for long periods of time.
Matthews and Laborde were arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Jail and charged with second degree battery; second degree cruelty to juvenile; and cruelty to juvenile. Their bonds have not yet been set.
"I know I saw the pictures and I kind of wish I didn't see them. There really isn't an area, I think, that was left untouched," Sheriff Mancuso said in today's press conference.
The three-year-old boy currently remains in a local hospital in critical condition.
All children in the home were placed in state custody by the Department of Children & Family Services.
CPSO Detective Kara Adams is the lead investigator on this case.