December 21, 2017 -
Morgan Koepp arrived at the hospital on December 11, 2017 with severe injuries to her jaw, her face was swollen, and she could not close her mouth. Her arms were covered in bruises and she had bruising along her spine.
Morgan passed away on December 13, 2017.
She was three-years-old.
The Department mourns the senseless loss of an innocent life.
The mother’s live-in significant other, Sidney Landers, was indicted on first degree murder charges on December 18, 2017 regarding the death of Morgan.
DCS has not received any prior reports involving Morgan Koepp as a victim.
The Department has received prior reports involving Mr. Landers.
On August 11, 2016, a report was received alleging neglect by Mr. Landers to his biological children.
The reporting source alleged Mr. Landers’ substance abuse caused him to neglect his biological children’s needs.
Six days later, on August 17, 2016, a report was received that a private dependency petition had been filed alleging Mr. Landers neglected his children due to substance abuse. The report alleged Mr. Landers was failing to provide food, housing, and other basic needs to his children.
DCS recommended an out-of-home dependency for Mr. Landers’ biological children. But the court disagreed, and ordered an in-home dependency where Mr. Landers’ children would remain in his care while he worked on his substance abuse issues.
Mr. Landers complied with the requirements of the in-home dependency. The court dismissed the in-home dependency on February 24, 2017.
On May 1, 2017, the Department received a report alleging Mr. Landers neglected his biological children due to his substance abuse.
During this time, Morgan was living with Mr. Landers, but she was not an alleged victim.
DCS observed Morgan and there were no concerns of abuse or neglect.
Mr. Landers denied the substance abuse allegations.
Mr. Landers tested negative for illegal substances. After a thorough investigation of the allegations, the case was closed on May 23, 2017, and was unsubstantiated.
DCS will continue to assist the Phoenix Police Department in pursuit of justice for Morgan.
The other children in the home at the time of Morgan’s death were placed with relatives.