Police still searching for parent of deceased 3-year-old

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — An ex-convict was arrested on allegations that he abandoned three children in a North Las Vegas home where a 3-year-old girl was found dead last week, police said Tuesday.

Jondrew Megil Lachaux, 39, surrendered Monday with a lawyer to face three felony child-abuse charges and one count of concealing evidence, police Sgt. Chrissie Coon said.

Lachaux was due Wednesday in North Las Vegas Justice Court, attorney Donald Green said. He said his client plans to plead not guilty if the case gets to state court. Green declined to comment about the allegations against Lachaux.

Authorities are still looking in the Oakland, California area for Kellie Cherie Phillips, 38, and the couple's five children, ages 1 to 9 years old, Coon said. Police are desperate to find Phillips because they are worried about the welfare of the five children, saying the kids may be in danger. It is possible Phillips may have connections outside of California.

Phillips was the mother to the 3-year-old child who died, and to a 17-year-old girl who was left behind at the home and later arrested on child-abuse charges when her badly malnourished 4-month-old daughter was hospitalized in critical condition.

The baby was improving at a hospital, where she was admitted April 1, Coon said. That's when the teen told police about the dead child in a home where she said her mother, Phillips, and Lachaux left her several weeks ago.

Investigators believe the teen lived for days or weeks in the brown stucco two-story tract home with her baby daughter and the corpse of the 3-year-old girl.

The teen was being held as a juvenile on child abuse and neglect allegations.

Police last Friday asked the public for help finding Lachaux and Phillips.

Records show that Lachaux served prison time in Nevada from June 2006 to August 2008 on a coercion conviction and that he and Phillips were involved in a family court legal dispute in Reno until 2010.