INSIDE EDITION - An Upstate New York man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of his toddler daughter in what authorities said was a murder fueled by jealousy over the attention the girl received after surviving cancer.
Ryan Lawrence, 25, was arrested two days after he abducted his little girl, Maddox, leaving a message for his wife saying that he might harm her or himself, police said.
“Ryan, if you're listening, please just bring Maddox home,” Maddox’s mom, Morgan Lawrence, tearfully pleaded after her daughter was taken. “Maddox, I love you honey. Ryan, please, just at least call.”
Morgan Lawrence played no role in her daughter’s death, officials said.
The 21-month-old girl’s remains were found in Onondaga Creek in Syracuse a day after her father was arrested.
Lawrence admitted in court to beating his daughter to death with a wooden baseball bat before burning her body in a fire pit and then tying her remains to a cinder block and dumping them in the water.
The little girl had already faced so much in her short life, having successfully beaten a form of eye cancer.
Lawrence told to authorities that he was jealous of all the attention Maddox received, “as opposed to the attention he was getting,” Fitzpatrick said.
As part of the guilty plea that was entered in Onondaga County Court Thursday, Lawrence waived his right to an appeal. He is due in court on October 7, when he is expected to be sentenced to 25 years to life.