Police say that a six-week-old baby boy, Lucas Birchim, who was adopted by a college professor died as a result of physical abuse. Forty-two year old Van Erick Custodio was charged with one count of felony child abuse.
Gastonia police were called to the home after they received a call reporting that the baby boy was in cardiac arrest. Lucas Birchim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
“During the investigation, detectives determined that the infant’s cardiac arrest was related to injuries sustained that were consistent with being physically abused,” police said. He died on Wednesday and Van Erick Custodio was then charged with first-degree murder.
Van Erick Custodio was arrested in South Carolina and extradited to North Carolina. His bond is set at $500,000. Custodio has also been suspended from his teaching job at Belmont Abbey College.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.