A nine-month-old boy, his mother and her boyfriend were still missing Wednesday, two days after a social worker was found dead in the mother's home, and police were taking calls of possible sightings across the Midwest.
Boni Frederick, 67, had taken the boy, who has been in foster care, to his mother's house for a visit Monday. Police found her body after she failed to return to work, and she appeared to have been beaten to death. Her car also was missing
"It was blunt-force trauma and sharp-instrument lacerations," Sgt. John Nevels of the Henderson Police Department said Tuesday. "There was definitely a struggle."
Police searched Tuesday for the missing boy, who was believed to be with his mother, Renee Terrell, 33, and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell, 23.
A dispatcher for Henderson police said Wednesday the three had not been located but that police had taken numerous calls of possible sightings in places ranging from Louisville to Illinois to Kansas.
Luttrell faces burglary charges in Jefferson County and has a warrant for parole violation, police said.
History of abuse
Terrell has a history of abuse charges against children, including charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a minor, police said. The child had been taken from his mother when he was 13 days old because of neglect.
A neighbor, Jean Davis, told The Courier-Journal that Terrell learned last Wednesday that Saige would be put up for adoption. Terrell told friends on Saturday she planned to take the boy and run away to New Mexico, Davis said.
"She loved her baby," Davis told the newspaper in a story published Wednesday. "She talked about how she was going to get her baby and everything back. She was buying clothes. She had a baby bed and a high chair and everything. ... I guess it made her snap."
Investigators have contacted family and friends, who have been "helpful on giving some locations to concentrate on" in their search. The pair was last seen late Monday at a gas station off Interstate 70 in Illinois.
The mother's white-paneled, single-story house was roped off by police tape, and a squad car was parked in front. The FBI and Henderson police were working together on the case.
Neighbor Mindy Gray, 22, described the mother as "goofy, like a little kid."
"But every time I talked to her, she was sweet as can be," she said.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher asked flags to be flown at half-staff on state buildings in memory of Frederick, who worked for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The last time a social worker was killed on the job in Kentucky was in 1987.
Advocates said the slaying emphasizes the danger of social work.
"It's like a state trooper stopping somebody for speeding," said Kathleen Hoffman, deputy director of the Association of Social Work Boards. "Ninety-nine percent of the time it's fine. But there's always that chance that somebody has a gun."
Vehicle, suspect information
Terrell has family in Louisville; Evansville and Fort Wayne, Ind.; and New York, police said. Frederick's car was missing, and the dispatcher said Terrell, Luttrell and the boy may be traveling in it. It was described as a 2000 white Daewoo Nubira station wagon with Kentucky license plate 675-DRV.
Renee Terrell was described as white with brown hair and brown eyes, glasses, 5-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Luttrell was described as white, blue eyes, 6-2 and 150 pounds with tattoos on his arms.
Saige Terrell is white, brown hair and brown eyes, 27 inches tall and 19 pounds. Police said the boy is developmentally disabled and has a scratch on the right side of his face and a rug burn on the back of his neck.
Information about the missing boy can be reported to police at (270) 827-8700.