A day after a Jefferson County man was charged with homicide in the spring death of a 16-month-old boy, the toddler￢ﾀﾙs mother was arrested for simple assault and endangering the welfare of her two children.
Kayla M. Lyons, 25, of Saltsburg was arraigned Wednesday evening and remains in the Indiana County Jail, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper John Matchik said in a news conference Thursday. She has also been charged with aggravated assault against her son.
Ms. Lyons' former boyfriend, 28-year-old Shawn Anderson-Holmes of Indiana was charged Tuesday with criminal homicide in the March death of Colby Jozefczyk, who was bruised and appeared malnourished.
"At this time, we do not believe that Kayla Lyons was involved directly in the actions that specifically and conclusively led to the death of Colby," Trooper Matchik said. "This is why she has not been charged with criminal homicide."
Physical evidence and information gathered during the investigation led authorities to arrest Ms. Lyons, state police said. Investigators believe she had been abusive, physically aggressive, and neglectful to both Colby and her 3-year-old daughter, Trooper Matchik said.
Trooper Matchik described an incident in which a neighbor witnessed Ms. Lyons assault her 3-year-old daughter on March 4, the day before Colby's death.
The witness told investigators that Ms. Lyons slapped her daughter in the face, grabbed her from the high chair and threw her against the kitchen wall then onto a sofa because she was frustrated when the girl became difficult to feed.
That weekend, investigators believe Ms. Lyons also forcibly fed Colby when he would not eat, struck both children on the buttocks with her hands and beat Colby in the buttocks with a hairbrush.
Investigators have also received reports that Ms. Lyons had allegedly been neglecting her children, including not bathing and feeding them. The children's biological father told police he observed bruises on both children after a visit with their mother in February.
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