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Missing 21-month-old girl found dead, father charged with murder

Syracuse Police Department
Maddox Lawrence

Updated at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday

Twenty-one-month-old Maddox Lawrence, missing since late Saturday, was found dead in Syracuse's Inner Harbor Tuesday, Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said during a news conference. Lawrence's father, 24-year-old Ryan Lawrence, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Maddox's death.

Credit Syracuse police Department
Ryan Lawrence has been charged with 2nd degree murder in the death of his daughter, 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence

Fowler said that someone called 911 on Monday afternoon, saying that someone matching the description of Ryan Lawrence was seen walking alone in Baldwinsville. Baldwinsville Police then stopped Lawrence, who was wearing a disguise. Syracuse police were called and Lawrence was taken into custody. 

State Police divers located a body, believed to be Maddox Lawrence, in Syracuse's Inner Harbor Tuesday afternoon. 

Fowler said while police are continuing their investigation, they are not looking for any other suspects in the case.

Ryan Lawrence is being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center without bail. He is expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning. 


The Syracuse Police Department have canceled the Amber Alert for 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence that was issued Sunday morning. Police divers searched the waters in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor today. Police said the child may have been taken by the father, Ryan Lawrence, 24, who was taken into custody on Monday in Baldwinsville. The last location of the child was possibly a parking lot at the Destiny USA mall. Police have not said if they found the girl but will be releasing more information at a 3:30 p.m. press conference.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.