Father charged with murdering son, 4, as he struggled to be potty trained while boy’s mother ‘allowed’
An Indiana man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his four-year-old son, whom he allegedly kept locked in the basement in the dark for lack of toilet training.
Investigators allege Alan Morgan, 28, of Union Township assaulted Judah Morgan, who police found dead, battered and bruised in his bedroom Monday.
Judah’s mother, Mary Yoder, 26, has also been arrested and charged with two felonies for neglect.
“I don’t know how anyone could do this to a child,” said Jenna Hullett, the Morgans’ cousin and Judah’s former caretaker. 16 News now.
Mary Yoder, right, said her husband, Alan Morgan, left, had physically abused their four-year-old son Judah, often locking him in the basement without light or food.
Judah Morgan was described by relatives as a kind and loving boy
Police found his body beaten and bruised at his home in Union Township on Monday
According to the Laporte County Child Protective Services Department, Hullet had cared for Judah for years before moving back in with his birth parents in April.
Yoder, who called police Monday after Judah’s death, told investigators that Alan would tape Judah and physically assault him, according to court documents.
The autopsy showed that Judah died of blunt force trauma to the head, which led to bleeding in the brain. WSBT reported.
He would also keep him in the dark basement at least three times a week and refuse him food as a “scare tactic” to punish Judah for not being potty trained like his three siblings.
Hullet, who described Judah as loving and playful, said: “I don’t think it was because he was not toilet trained, for he was toilet trained before he left my care. I think it was a fear factor.”
Investigators found duct tape in the basement, along with children’s clothing and blankets that reeked of urine. There was also a toddler’s toilet filled with urine and feces.
Investigators also found the house full of garbage, rotten food, animal feces, as well as a locked refrigerator and an extremely malnourished dog kept in a crate.
When they got to the house and found Judah’s body, the investigators said there were no adults around, just three children ages 7, 2, and 1.
One of Judah’s older siblings told police that, according to an affidavit, they often heard Judah being assaulted while he was in the basement with his parents.
Judah’s family said he was placed under the guardianship of his parents by the Laporte County Child Protection Department in April
Judah was reportedly kept in the basement for not being potty trained
Yoder, who has just given birth to another child, reportedly sent a message to her brother-in-law asking for help just before calling 9-11 Monday. Yoder reportedly said she “could have put an end to this, but didn’t.”
The three children were sent to relatives and the newborn was put up for adoption.
Morgan’s brother Jessie Morgan said his family was shocked to learn that his brother was accused of torturing and murdering his cousin.
“I don’t think any of us have really come to terms with it or woke up from the nightmare,” Jessie said as his family held a small vigil for Judah at the family’s house.
Judah’s uncle Jessie Morgan said his family was going through a ‘nightmare’
Jessie and other members of the family kept a vigil for Judah outside the home
They placed a candle with the toddler’s name in the middle of the wake
Jessie also blamed Child Protective Services, which he said never looked at Judah after putting him in custody of his parents.
The Laporte County Child Protection Department did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Both Morgan and Yoder are in LaPort County Jail, and prosecutors have filed a motion seeking life in prison without parole for Morgan, WSBT reported.