UPDATE: Van Erick Custodio Now Charged with First-Degree Murder after Six-Week-Old Adopted Son Dies

Gastonia, N.C. - April 14, 2022: Detectives from the Gastonia Police Department (GPD) have now charged Van Erick Custodio, age 42, of Gastonia, with first-degree murder after six-week-old Lucas Birchim succumbed to his injuries at the hospital yesterday evening.  Custodio was previously charged by GPD detectives with felony child abuse – severe bodily injury.

This remains an active investigation. Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call GPD Detective J. Loftin at (704) 866-6702.



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