CLEVELAND, Ohio —
An Amber Alert for a missing Cleveland mother and child ends in the worst way: Police found their bodies and the body of the man believed to have abducted them inside an abandoned garage on Cleveland’s east side, just before 3 a.m. Sunday.
Two bouquets of roses rest outside the garage on Union Avenue for 19-year-old Latasha Jackson and her 1-year-old daughter, Chaniya Wynn. Police say the mother and baby were shot to death. Also, inside was 35-year-old Thomas Lorde. It’s believed he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
“I really didn’t think that he would actually do that, though,” Latasha’s 14-year-old brother David Thomas said. He was with his sister and niece late Saturday morning. They were walking on East 72nd Street, pushing Chaniya in the stroller, when David says Lorde walked up and pointed a gun at them. “He was like, ‘Check this out.’ He pulled out a gun. He told me to go home. I was looking around, and that’s when he snatched the stroller from my sister, and told my sister to walk and called her a ‘B,’ ” David said.
David went home and called police. That’s when an Amber Alert was issued for Latasha and Chaniya. Cleveland police say Lorde, who had just met Latasha few months ago, was a multi-offender with a violent past.
“I didn’t think he would actually kill my 1-year-old niece and my sister. I didn’t think he had it in him,” David said sadly.
David added that Lorde and the baby’s father had once fought and that Lorde threatened to kill Chaniya. “That’s what he said. But, I believe my sister was a fighter. She wasn’t going to let it happen. I believe she tried to fight, and that’s how she ended up dying.”