After reportedly attempting to drown her seven-month-old son in the freezing cold Appomattox River last month, a Virginia mother named Leslei Jordan Kuykendall faces attempted murder charges, police say.
On January 11, 2021, at about 10:27 a.m., witnesses called the authorities to say that a woman and child were on the Appomattox River near the 500 block of Riverside Ave in Hopewell, Virginia, just south of Richmond.
She is 38 years old and her son is 7 years old.
A Hopewell Police Department press release said that prior to the arrival of officers on the scene, “bystanders observed the female taking the child into the cold water.”
The woman and child were discovered in “waist-high water” in the freezing river by the Hopewell Police Department and Fire Department when they got to the scene, officials said.
The authorities told the Progress-Index that both Kuykendall and her child survived and Kuykendall has since been charged with the attempted murder of an infant. She was booked into the Regional Jail at Riverside.
Trying to Drown Baby Full Details
The Progress-Index states that witnesses told police that they saw her walking into the river that morning, before wading in, dropping the baby in the waist-high water, and walking deeper into the river.
Responding to the scene, the Hopewell Police Department and the Hopewell Fire Department found the woman and the baby who were in waist-high water.
The officers waded into the water and picked up the unconscious boy, who had to be resuscitated when he was carried to shore, police said. Members of the Hopewell FireDepartment were able to revive the boy, who, police say, was taken to the VCU Medical Center for more medical treatment.
Meanwhile, a rescue boat was used by members of the Hopewell Fire Department to recover the woman who had walked farther out into the water.
Langford said to ABC 8, “We got her on the boat and we headed back to shore because we knew she had been in the water an unknown amount of time for at least five to ten minutes, and we were concerned about her medical conditions,”
At the time the woman and baby went into the water, the river temperature was around 46 degrees, The Progress-Index records.
According to the outlet, the air temperature was around 37 degrees with a wind-chill factor of 32 degrees. With non-life-threatening injuries, she was admitted to John Randolph Medical Center.
A criminal inquiry into what happened that morning was initiated by the Hopewell Police Department Criminal InvestigationsUnit (CIU). Kuykendall was arrested on Jan. 19 and charged with attempted homicide.
On January 19, Kuykendall was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of her infant son after police said she walked into the water, dropped her child in waist-deep water, and then walked further into the river away from him.
The 38-year-old was booked into the Prince George County Riverside Regional Jail and a bail hearing was scheduled for February 8, the Progress-Index wrote.
Authorities said that after the incident, the young boy has been released from the hospital, although it is unknown whose care he was put in. The outlet wrote that Langford also did not have a motive for the alleged attempted murder.
The water in the Appomattox River was about 46 degrees, according to the Progress-Index, when the mother put her son into the water with the air temperature at around 37 degrees and with the wind-chill factor at 32 degrees.