A Pennsylvania couple faces charges for the murder of a 5-year-old boy who died in February. Doctors discovered signs of horrific abuse and torture on the child’s body, leading to the arrest of Lauren and Jacob Maloberti of Delmont. The Westmoreland County district attorney announced the charges of criminal homicide against the couple last week. The boy, named Landon Maloberti, suffered from blunt force trauma to his head, neck, torso, and extremities. He was brought to the hospital on January 30th after losing consciousness and passed away about a week later.
Lauren and Jacob Maloberti, the adoptive parents of Landon, were arrested and charged with criminal homicide for the death of the 5-year-old boy. Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli revealed the extent of the child’s injuries during a press conference. Landon had suffered severe child abuse, leaving him unable to stand, eat, or drink. The couple had launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the child’s funeral costs, which has since been taken down. The campaign had raised over $5,000 before being removed.
According to a criminal complaint, doctors at UPMC Children’s Hospital discovered that Landon had three brain bleeds and his brain was severely damaged. The child had both new and old bruises, indicating multiple episodes of physical abuse. The complaint stated that the injuries caused substantial pain, resulting in the child’s inability to stand, eat, drink, and loss of consciousness. Shockingly, the couple waited a full day before taking Landon to the hospital, claiming he was “wobbly from COVID a month prior.”
Interviews and text messages noted in the court document revealed Lauren’s apparent hatred towards Landon. The couple’s five other children reported that she would spank him with her hand or a wooden spoon and spray him with a bottle while he cried. The children stated that their mother only targeted Landon because “he does not learn his lesson.” Former co-workers of Lauren also mentioned that she had previously expressed dislike for the boy. Text messages exchanged between the couple from April 2022 until the boy’s death were filled with disdain for Landon, with one message from Lauren stating that “she was going to kill him.”
Landon is remembered for his love of playing with toy monster trucks, singing country music, and eating pickles. The tragic circumstances surrounding his death have shocked the community. The arrest and charges against the Malobertis highlight the urgent need for child protection and the prevention of child abuse.