Prince George mother charged with attempted drowning of child

By Zach Armstrong

PETERSBURG, Va -- Leslei Kuykendall, 38, of Prince George County has been charged with attempted murder of her 7-month-old son by trying to drown the boy in the Appomattox River in Hopewell in January.

Police and firefighters of Hopewell rescued and resuscitated the child before drowning. Hopewell police Mike Langford told the Richmond Times Dispatch that “the child was released from VCU Medical Center and appears to be doing well,”

On Jan. 11, officers received a call about a woman and a child in the river with bystanders reporting they had seen the mother take the child into the frigid waters. Officers removed the boy and began administering medical care before paramedics resuscitated the child who was taken to VCU Medical Center for medical attention.

Three police officers were also treated by EMS at the scene of the rescue.

“It’s cold here, especially something that emotional and that hard, you're not thinking about it and your body will actually go into hyperthermia and lock you down too. So, not only what they did was amazing, but put themselves at a huge risk to do it,” said Hopewell Fire and EMS Chief Donny Hunter to WTVR Channel 6.

The mother was pulled to safety by a rescue boat before being transported to John Randolph Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Kuykendall is being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail and is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing on Feb. 8 in Hopewell Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.