A South African court started hearing evidence on the medical history of Orderick Lucas, the toddler who was discovered dead in a storm drain more than a year ago with all of his teeth ripped out using pliers. Kids who were looking for a lost ball stumbled upon the ghastly sight of the toddler's decomposing and maggot-filled body.
Investigators said that the 22-month-old toddler's body was so severely decomposed that it was hard to determine the cause of death. The Sun reported that local authorities investigating the case said that Lucas' teeth appear to have been ripped out using pliers days before his death.
Lucas went missing on March 24, 2019. His body was discovered on April 2 of the same year. According to Orderick's mother, Davidene Lucas, the toddler was not in her custody at the time of his disappearance. Local social services placed Orderick and his twin brothers in the care of their grandmother, Cornelia Scheepers.
Davidene said that she left Orderick with a friend. Melvyn Volkwyn, on the other hand, claimed that he went to Davidene's friend to get Orderick, allegedly upon her request and that he also returned the boy to her. However, Davidene denied giving Volkwyn permission to retrieve her son from the said friend whom she left him with, nor did she receive Orderick from him.
In an interview with authorities, Davidene said that Volkwyn told her on Monday that he took the toddler back to Scheepers, only to find out later that the boy is not there when she went for a visit on Thursday. On that day, Orderick's family reported him to the police as missing. After the discovery of the body and upon further investigation, authorities filed a case against Volkwyn for murder.
During a recent hearing at the Western Cape High Court, which was Day 2 of the murder trial against Volkwyn, the judge ordered the admission of Orderick's medical history as evidence. The court noted that there is no record of the registration of the toddler's birth and that based on medical records, he suffered from malnutrition and had ulcers on his genitals, as well as his mouth. The records also show that doctors treated Orderick for septic sores and a broken arm when he was still alive.
The court also heard testimony about the extraction of the toddler's teeth with pliers. Davidene testified that Orderick had a loose tooth and did not want to eat, News24 reported. She recalled requesting Volkwyn to take the toddler to the clinic and have the tooth extracted as she needed to go to work at that time. The boy's mother said that she later discovered that her toddler's four lower teeth were gone and a further check at the dentist clinic the following day revealed there was no record of the boy going there.
Susan Kuun, the counsel for the defense, for her part, referred to Orderick's and Davidene's medical records, showing the mother tested positive for cocaine when she was still pregnant. According to Kuun, hospital records show that the toddler is not well cared for, which runs in contrast with Davidene's testimony. The defense counsel also noted that the toddler's broken arm is among the factors that led social workers to remove him from his mother's custody. The trial continues on Wednesday.