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Previously convicted Utah foster mother faces new child abuse allegations against adopted son


by Kayla Winn, KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — A woman who previously admitted to causing the death of her 2-year-old foster son is now facing allegations of abusing her 8-year-old adopted son.

In July 2020, Lisa Jo Vanderlinden was sentenced to one year in jail, with 14 years of probation and a $10,000 fine for her prior conviction after pleading guilty.

The new charges were filed on Oct. 18 after Vanderlinden was arrested on one count of suspicion of child abuse.

Reports from the Duchesne County Sheriff's Office indicate that Vanderlinden allegedly slapped the child, leaving a visible mark for two days. Additionally, court documents suggest that the child had been struck by his adoptive father with a spatula.

During interviews with officials, Vanderlinden denied any instances of abuse.

In the 2020 case, Vanderlinden told investigators she was frustrated with the child's behavior and that he vomited multiple times that night.

A family member told police they heard a loud bang from the bathroom while Vanderlinden was bathing and changing the boy, after which he wasn't acting normal and would not walk. The next morning, he was found dead at Vanderlinden's home on Aug. 5, 2018.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes criticized the leniency of the ruling back in 2020, calling it a "travesty" that shakes public confidence in child protection.

Vanderlinden was released on Oct. 19 under specific conditions, according to court documents. These include her agreement to attend all court proceedings, a commitment not to engage in any further criminal activities, a monthly fee of $20, and the obligation to report any changes in her contact information.

2023 Oct 23