Duchesne County Woman Enters Guilty Plea in Homicide of 2-year-old Foster Child
By Kristin Forbis, Mar 19, 2020
A Duchesne County woman originally charged with 1st Degree Felony Aggravated Murder in the death of a 2-year-old foster son in her care has changed her plea ahead of a jury trial scheduled for this month. According to the ‘Statement of Defendant in Support of Guilty Plea’ filed this week in 8th District Court, Lisa Jo Vanderlinden entered a plea of Guilty to 1st Degree Felony Child Abuse Homicide which carries a penalty of 5 years to life in prison and a $10,000 dollar fine. Vanderlinden’s statement to the court included the following: “On or about August 4th to August 5th, 2018, in Duchesne County, I had the care and custody of ...a foster child. During the afternoon and evening of August 4th, [he] became increasingly ill. I am a nurse. I have medical training...That evening, I consulted the internet regarding abdominal injuries thinking it was possible [he] was suffering from such an injury. I did not seek medical attention for [him] that evening. [He] had damage to internal organs of his body that involved a substantial risk of death...My failure to seek such medical attention under the circumstances was reckless and resulted ultimately in his death.” According to investigators at the time of Vanderlinden’s arrest, Vanderlinden said that on the evening of August 4th, 2018, she was “mad and frustrated” with the boy and she removed him from the dinner table. Investigators say from that point forward, the boy was in her care. Others in the home told investigators that at some point in the evening, a loud bang was heard from the bathroom where Vanderlinden was caring for the boy. It was also noted that after that the boy wasn’t acting normal, wouldn’t walk, and began throwing up. On the morning of August 5th, the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the residence on a report of a deceased 2-year-old boy. The medical examiner found the boy to have numerous bruises and abrasions to his entire body as well as significant internal injuries that resulted in death. Vanderlinden admitted to investigators that she had sole care of the boy during those hours. Vanderlinden is scheduled for sentencing on May 13th.