Gulfport family mourns loss of 5-year-old, Edward King Lamptey Jr.
GULFPORT Miss. (WLOX) - The family of 5-year-old Edward King Lamptey Jr. is speaking out after learning the child died from blunt force trauma.
Police say parents initially blamed mold in their home for the death.
29-year-old Denzel Jamal Blakely is charged with capital murder.
The child’s mother, 31-year-old Lachelle Washington is charged with child deprivation of necessaries with substantial harm.
Big brown eyes filled with hope, paired with a smile that could melt any heart.
“He loved to play. Loved to be around his siblings. He actually loved going to church,” said Delphena Lodiong, aunt of Lamptey.
Memorial services are now being arranged for 5-year-old Edward King Lamptey Jr.
On April 14, officers responded to a medical emergency of the child. He was later pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital. An autopsy revealed he suffered blunt force trauma to the head and body.
“It’s very hard on the family now because it’s always tragic when a child dies, but in a way like this. It just hurts knowing that he suffered.” said Lodiong.
Dale Lodiong is lost for words as she speaks about her nephew — a precious soul gone too soon.
Initially, it was reported King had health issues from black mold in the family’s apartment. But, it was ruled out by the state medical examiner. Instead, wounds were located on Lamptey’s body.
Lodiong suspects child abuse was at play and she wants answers.
“With this being child abuse awareness month, I wish a lot of people would wake up and see the signs,” said Lodiong. “There were times when the kids kept to themselves. They didn’t talk a lot. They separated themselves from other children. It’s just small things that you don’t pick up on. "
She also hinted Lamptey’s preschool program sent him home with food sporadically.
“He hadn’t been in school for a period of time,” said Lodiong.
Just before the tragedy, she shared the last words the child spoke to his mother.
“His last words were ‘I’m tired. Mommy, I’m tired,’” said Lodiong.
Lodiong said LaChelle Washington, Lamptey’s mother, provided what she could for her children.
“Chelly was a very caring person. She took the kids to church. She took care of her kids. He does has siblings who have to live with this as well. We’re going to get them the counseling that they deserve and provide them with as much love care and understanding. "
”We’re real heartbroken,” said Alice Carlisle, Lamptey’s grandmother. “We are trying to cope. Both sides of the family are staying together. We do want to bring more awareness child abuse. "
King celebrated his 5th birthday in April.
On April 29, family and friends will hold a balloon release memorial at Jones Park starting at 4 p.m.
Lamptey’s body was taken to Texas for funeral services.
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