Dad Kills Daughter With Cancer For “Taking his wife’s attention from him”

According to a GoFundMe page helping to raise money for her cancer treatments, Maddox Mary Lawrence “was born healthy and full of energy …”—but before she was a year old, her parents Morgan and Ryan Lawrence became concerned about the odd appearance of one of Maddox’s eyes. Soon, they received the devastating news that Maddox had retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye.

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Ryan and Maddox Lawrence Photo: Syracuse.com

For months, the couple would pack Maddox up and drive from their home in Syracuse to Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City so that Maddox could get life-saving chemotherapy treatments that targeted the tumor in her eye. And, as 2015 came to a close, Maddox appeared to be beating the cancer. But then, something went horribly, inexplicably wrong.

Last Sunday morning, an Amber Alert was issued for 21-month-old Maddox when she and her father Ryan failed to pick up her mother Morgan up from work Saturday night.

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Maddox Lawrence Photo: Syracuse.com

Ryan Lawrence apparently left an eight-minute video for his wife and also left a note in which he indicated that he might harm Maddox and himself, Syracuse.com reported. Morgan Lawrence immediately notified police, who issued the Amber Alert Sunday morning.

But after Ryan was found, he revealed that it was too late: he had killed his daughter Maddox, not yet two years old, on Saturday before anyone even knew she was missing. He then burned her body and threw it in a creek in Syracuse. Police recovered her little body yesterday, and then charged Ryan Lawrence with second-degree murder.

When Ryan Lawrence was arrested, he had on a disguise and a backpack full of gear, as well as a book on how to avoid being captured (I can’t even type that without noting the irony). According to Syracuse.com, Lawrence told police that before killing Maddox, he’d been jealous that the toddler had been taking his wife’s attention from him.

I really don’t even have the words to explain how that last sentence makes me feel. For a mother who has fought so hard to save her child’s life for the past year to lose her in this way, at the hands of the person who created the child with her, who took a vow before God to love and cherish her for life…the pain is surely unimaginable. All my prayers are with Morgan Lawrence and all who loved Baby Maddox today.


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.