KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Authorities say a Missouri woman confessed to killing her blind and autistic son, telling investigators she tried to abandon the severely disabled 19-year-old to the care of God before leading him into a field where he eventually died and where she was found lying half-naked nearby.
Prosecutors in southwestern Missouri’s Polk County charged Kimberly Lightwine, 42, on Saturday with second-degree murder in Austin Anderson’s death, although information about the case wasn’t released until Tuesday. Lightwine, whose bond was set at $250,000, also is charged with elder abuse, a crime that also pertains to acts against disabled adults.
Lightwine made her first court appearance Wednesday, entered no plea and was scheduled to be returned to court Sept. 21. Her public defender, Dewayne Perry, didn’t immediately respond to a Wednesday phone message seeking comment.
Lightwine, of Aldrich, was found Aug. 29 lying face-down in her underwear in a field near the body of her son, who was wearing only a soiled diaper. Investigators believe Anderson, who was incapable of tending to himself and was described by his father as having the cognitive abilities of an elementary school student, may have died as many as three days earlier from dehydration and the lack of hydrocortisone for an adrenal gland issue.
In a probable cause statement that accompanied the criminal complaint, Polk County sheriff’s Detective Billy Simpson wrote that Lightwine told him she took her son to a stranger’s field near Morrisville while high on methamphetamine.
“I heard Kimberly Lightwine state multiple times that she and God brought her baby into this world and that she had to help God take him out,” Simpson wrote.
“I’m a terrible mother, I got high, and I got depressed, and I think I am going to throw up. I killed my kid, I killed my kid, I killed my kid. I don’t know why I did,” Lightwine said, according to Simpson.
The detective wrote that Lightwine recalled telling her son to “get out of the car and go reach for help.”
“Put your hands in front of you for help and God is going to take care of you,” Simpson quoted Lightwine as saying.
According to the statement, Lightwine said her son had trouble walking but kept coming back “and wanting his mommy” while he repeatedly said, “I want to go home, mommy.” Lightwine said she would push him away and tell him: “No, you don’t want to love me. Please let God take you.” Moments later, Simpson wrote, Lightwine told the investigator “she did not want her son to die but that she wanted someone to reach out and take her baby.”
Simpson wrote that later during her interview, Lightwine insisted she was “mad as hell” when she first drove to the field, insisting that at one point she climbed atop her car and profanely yelled at “bad” people she believed were coming after her.
“I threw Austin through barbed wire and cut him up really bad trying to get him to safety,” Lightwine said, according to Simpson.
She told authorities her son’s death was “my fault” and that “you should charge me with murder right now for my son’s death and I’m not joking.”