- Jondrew Lachaux, 39, and Kellie Phillips, 38, face child abuse charges
- Pair decided to turn themselves in after the discovery of three children
- Decomposed body of a three-year-old found in a broken-down Mercedes
- A baby had to be admitted to hospital suffering from severe malnutrition
Two Las Vegas parents have been arrested after a child’s corpse was discovered in a car, a baby was found with severe malnutrition and a sheltered teenager was impregnated by her stepfather.
Jondrew Lachaux, 39, and Kellie Phillips, 38, turned themselves in after the three children were found, North Las Vegas police said.
They have been arrested and face child abuse charges, while Lachaux is also charged with concealing evidence after the toddler’s badly decomposed body was found in the garage. A teenager is also being held on a child abuse charge.
According to court documents, the man and woman took five of their children on a trip to Oakland, California, eight months ago.
The couple left behind two daughters – a teen who is Phillips’ biological child and Lachaux’s stepdaughter and a sickly three-year-old toddler – in their suburban Las Vegas home because the rental vehicle was full.
Authorities say Lachaux reportedly impregnated the teen, who gave birth at home without any medical care to a now four-month-old girl.
She struggled to care for herself and her three-year-old sister who had medical problems while pregnant and home alone. But the teen said she was too scared to call for help even after the food and medication left by their mother ran out.
‘The totality of evidence is leading investigators to believe she was almost a prisoner in her home, police Sergeant Chrissie Coon said.
‘Fugitives can psychologically confine their victims without physically being present.’
The case first unraveled on April 1 when the teen was seen at McCarran International Airport with a very sick baby.
The infant was hospitalised in an extremely critical condition for severe malnutrition and hypothermia resulting from surviving on watered-down baby formula.
In an interview with police, the teenager described the abuse at home in detail, claiming Lachaux raped her without her mother knowing.
For the past five years, the family had lived in North Las Vegas, but the children rarely went outside and were home-schooled.
The teen told police she has had braces on her teeth from five years ago but hadn’t seen a dentist since.
The teen said her three-year-old sister apparently had trouble breathing and died. She called her parents for two weeks before Lachaux called back to learn of the death.
She said in late March her stepfather came home to hide her sister’s corpse and then kicked her out of the house in fear that her mother would find out about the pregnancy.
Lachaux and the teen apparently hid the badly decomposed body in the back seat of a broken-down Mercedes in the garage. The corpse was concealed in a box surrounded by blankets, plastic bags and pizza boxes, according to court records.
The coroner’s office said it has not yet positively identified the body or the cause of death.
The teenager was homeless for a few days, staying in public places including the airport and on the Las Vegas Strip.
She is now being held in juvenile detention on a child abuse charge.
The other five children – aged one, four, seven, eight and nine – were found with Phillips in good health and have been put in protective custody.