Laura Cummings, age 23, was found dead on January 21, 2010, on the bathroom floor in the apartment she shared with her mother Eva Cummings, 51, and brother Luke Wright,31. Police said they were immediately suspicious and the Erie County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.
The North Collins, N.Y. mentally disabled young woman was tortured to death, according to Erie County Sheriffs Office detective Captain Ron Kenyon. He issued the following statement:
“The medical examiner ruled she was killed by three means: the final straw was suffocation, but she also had blunt force trauma and thermal burns to her face.”
Kenyon also said this is the worst case he’s seen in 30-years of law enforcement.
Woman Tortured To Death: Mother, Brother Charged ( Video )
Authorities are saying that Eva Cummings killed her own daughter and that Luke Wright poured boiling water on his sister’s face.
According to prosecutor Thomas Finnerty:
“The mother’s been arraigned. Her charges are murder in the second degree. The brother of the victim has been arraigned on charges of assault in the first degree.”
Cummings and Wright are being held without bond and are due back in court on February 4th, 2010
Laura Cummings abuse was ongoing, dating back to 1995. Although 23, she is said to have had the mind of a 7 or 8 year old child. Captain Kenyon said the abuse was physical and mental, adding that
“We’ve never seen anything as horrific as we’ve seen in this investigation.”
Richard Cummings, another brother of Laura’s, became upset last summer with how his sister was being ‘mistreated’ and filed a complaint with Child protective Services.
However, upon realizing her age and disability, her case was transferred to Adult Protection Services. They investigated the latter part of last summer and were unable to find anything wrong…leaving Laura Cummings in her torturous surroundings with her alleged tormentors.
A neighbor, Rebecca Lee is quoted as saying “Her mom was kinda mean to her. She always looked lonely so I went over to see how she was. She was real nice.”
Robert Lee added “Somebody had walked by and the daughter was looking over at her and Eva didn’t like it so she just snatched her by the back of the head and took her in the house, right by the hair.”
Captain Kenyon suggested Laura’s case fell through the cracks. “Perhaps a lot of people had a hunch of what was going on, but I think everybody, unfortunately, thought that somebody else was taking care of it.” Sadly, that’s the way it usually is with stories like Woman Tortured To Death: Mother, Brother Charged ( Video )
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office expects additional charges to be filed against Wright and Cummings.
I can’t help but wonder if they will investigate Adult protective Services, too.
I think we’re all aware that these agencies are over-worked and under-staffed, but should that excuse them from accountability?
With a documented history of abuse, why wasn’t Laura placed in a foster home? A group home? I’m fairly certain her fate would not have been any worse! Why wasn’t her home situation monitored more closely? Who decides who is worth saving and who is not?
The torture/murder of anyone is unbelievably tragic, but somehow, mistreating a disabled person seems so much more evil. Will there be justice for Laura Cummings or will we see a plea down?
See the video of ‘woman tortured: mother, brother charged’ below but keep in mind, that Ava Cummings and Luke Wright are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Your thoughts on this very avoidable travesty?