Mom, boyfriend facing murder, child abuse charges in death of 2-year-old

“Lucas Hernandez and Brewer and now this,” said Riverside resident Bruce Harpenau.

Mother, boyfriend held for murder of 3-year-old Evan Brewer

The Riverside neighborhood is devastated after a child who lived with his mother and her boyfriend died in what police believe was a case of child abuse. 

Mother, boyfriend jailed for murder in toddler’s death

 “When I realized it was Elizabeth, pretty shocking,” said neighbor Lucas Yokom.

Elizabeth is Elizabeth Woolheater, the child’s mother.

She and her boyfriend Lucas Diel were arrested and charged in two-year-old Anthony Bunn’s death. 

After a couple of days in the hospital, the child died from his injuries Sunday morning. According to police, doctors told them the child had severe trauma to his head and face. 
“It’s extremely hard on investigators; the medical staff that work on the children, it’s tough for everyone all around,” said Lieutenant Jeff Gilmore.

Police believe the child’s injuries were caused by Woolheater and Diel. 

The couple was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail for attempted murder. 

Those charges were elevated to felony murder and child abuse after Anthony died. 

Diel has prior arrests for violating his probation and criminal threat. 

“Hearing more and more, I’m like that’s pretty crazy,” said Yokom.

And this isn’t the first time the couple has been investigated for child abuse. 

“There was one investigation in October of 2017 of child abuse,” said Lt. Gilmore. “That case was investigated. That case was presented to the district attorneys office, and there was not enough evidence at that time to proceed with charges.” 

Some neighbors wonder if the state had done a more thorough job, the child could have been taken from the home. 

“When child services is called in, they need to do their job,” said Harpenau.

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