Babysitter charged with murder

Laurren J. Courtney, 22, of Las Vegas, Nevada. [Image credit: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department]

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22-year-old Laurren J. Courtney was arrested back on March 11, 2021 for the abuse of 5-year-old Ryan James Peralto. 

 

Ryan later died at a hospital from his injuries and Courtney was charged with first-degree murder as well as four counts of child abuse or neglect, one count of endangering a child and three counts of child abuse resulting in substantial bodily harm.

 

Court documents are just now being released which indicate the severity of the case. 

 

According to the Review Journal Ryan's father, Kaiea Peralto told police that he had installed security cameras in his home after his 7-year-old daughter, Carley, had told him that Courtney had hurt Ryan.

 

Courtney had been watching the children five days a week since August 2020 while the parents worked, but then dropped down to 3 days a week when the children returned to school part-time. The family had heard of her through word of mouth.

 

While at work, Peralto would access the home security cameras from an application on his phone during breaks. On March 11 at approximately 11:40 am, he reported that he saw his son lying motionless on the couch while Courtney appeared to be cleaning up fluids from the floor.

 

Peralto contacted his wife to find out if she had heard from Courtney. Ten minutes later, Courtney called him to state that Ryan wasn't doing well and had "coughed up blood." Peralto rushed home to find his wife already there, and upon his arrival Courtney left. 

 

Ryan was rushed to a hospital where it was determined that he had sustained a skull fracture, brain bleed, damage to his liver, pancreas and intestines, and a ruptured spleen. Due to the extent of the damage, he was immediately taken for emergency surgery but Ryan succumbed to his injuries. 

 

The Clark County Coroner ruled his death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma injuries to his head, chest, and abdomen.

 

Officers reviewed the surveillance camera footage through the app on Peralto's phone. They said the footage they viewed was "horrendous." 

 

"Officers observed [Courtney] pulling Ryan by one arm through the doorway of the bathroom. Laurren states, "I know you are faking it." The beating is said to have taken place over a two minute period including Courtney being observed as β€œShe squats down to him and kicks his head and his head moves away from his body. Ryan has no reaction to this and does not even raise his hands and his body is limp.”

 

Courtney was found at her residence with her boyfriend and was reported to express no emotion when officers told her that Ryan might not survive during an interview. 

 

Courtney is reported to have initially denied hurting Ryan and at one point even attempted to implicate Peralto by saying that Ryan had a bruise on his forehead when she had arrived that morning. 

 

Officers asked her if she was aware that Peralto had installed security cameras in the home to which she responded, "I know, he has three."

 

Courtney told officers that she had become angry with Ryan for urinating on himself during online instruction and said that she had shoved him, probably "harder" than she should have, which caused him to strike his head on the floor.

 

She eventually told officers that "She may have been 'mad' and 'blacked out' because she has no recollection of stepping on Ryan," according to the arrest report seen by 8 News. "Laurren then stated she has 'mental issues' or 'mental health issues.'"

 

Courtney described herself as a self-employed "entertainer" that babysits on the side for supplemental income. She told officers that she currently smokes "weed" and had experimented with other drugs in the past.

 

Courtney remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center and is due in court on May 18 at 9:00 am for a preliminary hearing. 

 

Two GoFundMe accounts have been established in Ryan's memory, one by a co-worker of Peralto, and the other by his cousin

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