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Mother charged in death of boy


Mother charged in death of boy

Two other children have signs of abuse

Mandy Locke
Staff Writer

A mother who detectives say beat her adopted children with plastic plumbing pipe is being charged with murder in the death of her 4-year-old son.

Lynn Marie Paddock, 45, was being held in the Johnston County jail without bail Sunday night. Johnston County Sheriff's deputies arrested her Sunday night after her 8-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son told social workers they'd been punished with a length of PVC pipe. Deputies and social service workers found severe bruising on the two children's bodies, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.

The 4-year-old, Sean Paddock, was found lifeless in bed Sunday morning. He, too, was bruised from apparent beatings, Bizzell said. Detectives sent Sean's body to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

In addition to the murder charge, Paddock is charged with two counts of felony child abuse inflicting serious injury in connection with the injuries found on the older two children.

Paddock and her husband, Johnny Paddock, adopted six children and have one biological child, deputies said. The couple tends animals at their 12-acre farm at 1490 Grabtown Road outside Smithfield. Lynn Paddock teaches the children at home, Bizzell said.

Social workers removed four of the remaining five adopted children from the home. Two older children returned home with the father Sunday after the family was questioned at the sheriff's department.

Lynn Paddock found Sean -- the youngest of the children -- lifeless in his bed Sunday morning.

She told deputies that her son had been fine when she checked on him about 3:30 a.m. When she went to wake him just after 7 a.m., however, he was stiff. She carried him downstairs and yelled for another child to call an ambulance. Johnny Paddock rushed inside and tried to resuscitate Sean, Bizzell said.

When paramedics arrived, the boy wasn't breathing. He was declared dead when the ambulance arrived at Johnston Memorial Hospital, Bizzell said.

Church members who answered the phone at the Paddock home Sunday night declined to comment.

Staff writer Mandy Locke can be reached at 829-8927 or mandy.locke@newsobserver.com.
2006 Feb 27