Mom let children sleep and play in room with dead daughter’s body, N.Y. police say

Serina A. Madden
Serina A. Madden New York State Police

Belladonna Loke, 10, died on a Saturday, but before her body was discovered by authorities the next day, her mother allowed her two other children to sleep and play in the same room with her daughter’s body, say police in upstate New York.

Serina A. Madden, 31, of Colesville, N.Y., knew her daughter had died and “failed to take care of Belladonna’s remains,” court documents obtained by WBNG say. Her 9-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter slept and played in the bedroom containing Belladonna’s body following the girl’s death Feb. 17, New York State Police say.

Belladonna’s body was found by police Feb. 18 after the owner of the home in which Madden and her children were staying reported an unresponsive child, according to the Press & Sun-Bulletin. New York State Police told the publication that Belladonna had been suffering from a serious medical condition. Madden has not been charged in connection with her death.

If convicted of the child endangerment charges, Madden could face up to a year in jail or three years on probation, reported the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

In Ukraine, a 77-year-old woman was recently discovered living with the mummified body of her mother, who had died more than 30 years ago, reported Metro. And in North Carolina, police say a man was found in early February living with the body of his mother, who had died a year earlier, and a dog, reported WNCN. “He said that when she died that he could not physically let go of her body,” family friend Bonnie Cooley told the station.