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BPD Commissioner Harrison said Saturday Malachi Lawson’s mother admitted to police investigators that he was never missing, he was dead.

The Baltimore mother who reported her 4-year-old son missing and the woman’s partner have been arrested in connection with the death of young Malachi Lawson after police say they led officers to the child’s body in a trash bin.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said during a news conference at police headquarters Saturday that investigators expect to charge the boy’s mother, Alicia Lawson, 25, and her partner, Shatika Lawson, 40, with one count of neglect that resulted in the death of a minor. They were also charged late Saturday with first-degree child abuse, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and giving false statements.

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Alicia Lawson is facing criminal charges related to the death of her 4-year-old son, Malachi Lawson.
Alicia Lawson is facing criminal charges related to the death of her 4-year-old son, Malachi Lawson.
Shatika Lawson is facing criminal charges related to the death of her partner's 4-year-old son, Malachi Lawson.
Shatika Lawson is facing criminal charges related to the death of her partner's 4-year-old son, Malachi Lawson.

The women were arrested Friday night, he said, after Malachi’s mother “admitted during interviews that her son wasn’t missing but deceased."

Early Saturday, the two led police to a dumpster near their home in the 5500 block of Haddon Avenue in the Grove Park neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore, where police found the boy’s body.

Harrison said the corpse “had obvious signs of injury,” but refused to describe them. The little boy appears to have died sometime Thursday, he said.

Malachi walked with a limp because one of his femurs was broken when he was an infant, Harrison said Friday. In addition, Baltimore Police Detective Donny Moses said that officers were told that the child may have been on the autism spectrum.

When police announced Friday that Malachi had disappeared from the front porch of his grandmother’s home in the 4500 block of N. Rogers Ave., it touched off a widespread search. His body was found about nine blocks away.

Harrison said Saturday he was eager to “calm fears” that someone was stalking children at random, but added:

“This was extremely shocking to the community. I’d like to thank everyone who dropped what they were doing to help us try to locate him. This was a communitywide effort.”

A woman reached at the family home Saturday said Malachi was her grandson but declined to speak with a reporter, referring questions to police.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lillian Reed contributed to this article.

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