Dad charged with killing missing NY toddler found in harbor

Maddox and Ryan - News10 photo

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10/AP) – The hunt for the man who abducted his own daughter in Syracuse is over. Police say a body was found in a harbor near the Destiny USA mall, but DNA tests are necessary before authorities can confirm it is in fact Baby Maddox. Her father, 24-year-old Ryan Lawrence has been charged with second-degree murder. Police say Lawrence allegedly abducted his daughter, leading to an Amber Alert and a massive search.

Officials say Lawrence was supposed to pick up Baby Maddox’s mom at Destiny USA Saturday. Instead Ryan said he wasn’t coming and left their car in the mall parking lot with the keys in the ignition.

Police said they have Ryan Lawrence in custody in Baldwinsville, but 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence was not with him. They said they caught Lawrence buying a comforter in a store while he was wearing a disguise.

A woman who noticed him called police.

It all started when Maddox’s mother, Morgan Lawrence, found her Syracuse home empty when she got back from work late Saturday night. But she found a letter from her husband.

Police said Ryan Lawrence left a message that said he was taking Maddox with him, and some information in the note suggested he may hurt himself or Maddox.

Morgan made a plea with her husband on Monday.

“Ryan, if you are listening, please just bring Maddox home,” she said. “Maddox, I love you, honey. Ryan, please call. We just want to know you both are safe. The whole family loves you. The whole family wants you both home. We want to know you guys are in a good place. We would love to see you both as soon as possible.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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