5-year-old killed on his birthday by mother’s fiancé

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EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI) – A Madison County mother and her fiance' are behind bars for the death of a 5-year-old boy.

Investigators say on Sunday, September 29, a 911 call was reported from the 2100 block of Rose Knoll Lane, of a 5-year-old child being unresponsive.

Deputies arriving on the scene found Torian Whittaker, 5,  lifeless.  He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities say both Torian and his  7-year-old brother were physically disciplined by their mother’s finance, Tavon Ludy, 24.   Investigators believe Lundy punched Torian in the chest, causing the child to collapse and die.

Ludy is now charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery to a Child.

The child's mother, Toria Coleman, 27, also faces child endangerment charges.

The boy's mother was shopping for his birthday present at the time, but investigators say she was aware the boy and his brother were being abused by Ludy.

Ludy’s bond has been set at $550,000, and Coleman’s bond is $50,000.

The 7-year-old is now in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.


  • Anna

    I was at the Hospital at this time… I had no clue this was what was taking place… This is heartbreaking. No child deserves to lose their life due to an ignorant adult.

  • Beth

    R.I.P., birthday boy. I hope both of them are haunted by your memory every single day for the rest of their lives!

  • sparkle

    I honestly feel these women more back bone cause no other man should be able to lay there hands on children that do not belong to them! Ugh she totally discuss me. I hope that both get more then what they deserve! May GOD bless that little SOUL!

  • Superwoman100

    This Tavon Ludy is a low-life degenerate if he truly caused this innocent child’s death. It’s one thing to swat a child on the leg or behind if he’s acting up but it is NEVER okay to hit a child with a closed fist or anything other than an open hand. He’ll get his in jail where they have their own form of justice for child murderers. My prayers to the little boy and his family–even though the mother was wrong to leave her boys with him knowing he was beating them, she lost her child and will have to live with that guilt the rest of her life.

  • Sharon Shorter

    Tavon looks like a child himself. My condolences to the loved one of the little boy. No woman should put a man before her children and it seems Tavon had control over HER children. Disgusting and he should rot in HELL!

  • GG

    Just another example that immature 17-year-olds are not equipped to be a mother. Seven years later with 2 youngsters she had to have a man [any man/boy] to snuggle up with every night.

  • Ketta

    She shouldn’t have left her kids home with him, out shopping for his bday present or not, fiancé or not. Im sure there were probably signs of abuse to her children earlier in the relationship, that she simply ignored or more than likey gave this little teen looking boyfriend of hers permission to play daddy. ugh!!! I’m so disgusted!!

  • Brigette Schneider

    Another story, many times this has been repeated of a mother so desperate for a tool every night, lets the bf abuse her children. Both are losers, lock them up and find a loving family to place the surviving child.

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