2-year-old found dead in Virginia Beach hotel; Mother charged with child abuse, neglect

Posted at 1:04 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 18:46:54-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - On August 1, 2022, a 2-year-old was found dead under suspicious circumstances and the child's mother was found in a medical emergency in a hotel room on Atlantic Avenue.

According to Virginia Beach Police Department, the two were found when officers responded to the 3600 block of Atlantic Avenue at approximately 3:32 a.m.

Officials say the cause of death for the child is unknown and the manner of death is not readily apparent. The Detective Bureau is investigating this case as a suspicious death.

A search warrant obtained by News 3 said that a friend of the child's mother, Leandra Andrade, called Virginia Beach Police after receiving a text message from Andrade saying "they would look down on [the friend] from heaven." Andrade also posted pictures of her 2-year-old daughter on her Instagram, speaking about her in the past tense.

After Andrade texted the friend her location, police responded to the address and found Andrade unconscious and her child dead at the Cutty Sark Motel.

Police performed life-saving measures on Andrade using Narcan before she was taken to the Virginia Beach General Hospital for treatment.

According to the Metropolitan Police, Andrade left Washington, D.C. after a custody case last week and was last seen in the city on Friday. The MPD was made aware of Andrade's potential whereabouts in Virginia Beach, which initiated the VBPD's assistance.

According to documents from the sheriff's office, Andrade is being charged with child abuse and neglect. Police also say that she is still being processed, but she's in the system.

The child's father, Fabio Andrade Jr., released the following statement regarding his daughter's death in which he said he was awarded temporary sole legal custody of the child.

My daughter Lanoix loved life and loved to make her friends and family smile. I am devastated that the opportunity for Lanoix to continue living a happy and loving life was senselessly taken from her.

I have been fighting tirelessly since March of this year for full physical and legal custody in order to provide my daughter the life she deserved. The court ruling last week awarding me temporary sole legal custody was one of several successful steps toward that goal. But that ruling did not affect the existing, court-ordered temporary shared physical custody schedule that put Lanoix with her mother last weekend.

The family and friends of Lanoix ask for privacy at this time so that we may mourn our beloved angel.

One family vacationing at the Oceanfront right now is staying at a hotel on the same block. The mother, Lori Grotsky of Ashburn, Va., said she’s concerned after hearing the tragic news.

“My reaction was, oh my goodness, which hotel is this? I can’t believe this happened,” Grotsky said. “We were really shocked because we’ve been to Virginia Beach before and we have never heard about that. This neighborhood and area is really nice and this is the first time we’ve ever heard about anybody dying in a hotel.”

Leandra Andrade was scheduled for a bond hearing in court Thursday morning in connection to her daughter’s death.

Lanoix’s family came in from her hometown of D.C. to be in the courtroom Thursday.

The judge decided to push the case back to next week as Andrade hires a lawyer. She said Andrade is in the process of retaining well-known criminal defense lawyer James Broccoletti.

Andrade is set to be back in court next Thursday, Aug. 11 at 9 a.m. to confirm if Broccoletti will represent her. They will then decide if the bond hearing will be held that same day.