VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The mother of a 2-year-old girl found dead back in August at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront has now been charged with murder.
The Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office had requested the upgraded second-degree murder charge for Leandra Andrade after the medical examiner recently classified her daughter’s death as a homicide. The exact cause of death has not been shared at this time.
Andrade’s 2-year-old daughter, Lanoix, was found dead at the Cutty Sark Motel on Atlantic Avenue just after 3:30 a.m. on August 1.
Andrade, of Washington, D.C. was found unconscious and rushed to the hospital. She was later charged with child neglect with serious injury.
A copy of the search warrant shows police seized an empty pill container, a glass bottle with powder, a laptop, two cell phones, several flash drives and other items from Andrade’s hotel room on August 1.
Prosecutors said in court Thursday that two bottles of sleeping pills were found empty – one had contained 32 pills, the other, 24.
Lanoix’s father, Fabio Andrade, Jr., shared this statement on Thursday after news of the murder charge for Leandra:
“Lanoix will always be the love of my life,” Fabio Andrade said. “While today’s charges will never bring back my daughter, I am thankful to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for seeking justice for her senseless murder. I look forward to seeing justice served for Lanoix and continue to ask for privacy so that I may mourn my beloved angel.”
Fabio had been recently awarded temporary sole legal custody of Lanoix before her death, but both parents were given equal physical custody of the child. Lanoix was scheduled to be with her mother when the two went to Virginia Beach that weekend.
WAVY was in the courtroom on Thursday as Leandra Andrade requested bond. Bond was denied and she remains in the Virginia Beach City Jail. Her attorney James Broccoletti said afterward that will deny her access to the mental health resources she needs.
“It’s a Catch 22, because you have to be evaluated to then be able to get into the programs, but nobody will come to the jail to evaluate you,” he said.
Leandra Andrade’s sister testified at her bond hearing that the two had a stable family upbringing, private schools, and Leandra had earned a master’s degree and had been a social worker.
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