See it here: Mother of slain Millcreek toddler Ethan Antes shares her story

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 7, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Therapy and antidepressants are helping some.

Still, Riki Lloyd struggles with the sudden and violent loss of her toddler son.

“It was the worst night of my life,” said Lloyd, 22, recalling the April night when a uniformed officer came to her new workplace, told her to come, and drove her to the hospital treating 17-month-old Ethan Antes.

“I was hyperventilating, I was having panic attacks, no one could give me any answers,” Lloyd told Gephardt Daily. “I don’t really remember much of that night.”

But one moment stands out clearly in Lloyd’s mind:

“I was told that my son had less than a 1 percent chance to live and that my husband was being charged with murder.

* * *

Ethan Jay Antes. Photo Courtesy: Facebook

On April 29 of this year, Lloyd’s husband of about six weeks, 34-year-old Codey Jolley, dialed 911 to report the child’s drowning, but did not give his Millcreek address, then provided an incorrect address, according to police reports.

When paramedics located Jolley anyway, he was in one room and Ethan was in another. Jolley told medical crews that Ethan had drowned in the tub, but the boy and the tub were dry.

Paramedics worked on the toddler for about 40 minutes before getting a faint heartbeat. They rushed Ethan to the hospital, then detectives turned their attention to Jolley.

At Primary Children’s Hospital, Lloyd was allowed to see Ethan.

“I slept in the room with my son, but by the time I saw him he ‘wasn’t there.'”

Two tests on Ethan showed no brain activity. He was declining, even on life support. On May 1, doctors asked Lloyd what she wanted to do.

Ethan Jay Antes. Photo Courtesy: GoFundMe

“It had to be my decision,” she said, of removing her boy from life support. “I waited a couple hours, finally got some rest, and made sure I had everyone come down that wanted to be there.

“I got to hold him before it happened, for a while, and I got to hold him alone, and just be with my son. And when we took him off, we did the same thing. And I just held him for awhile, and slowly they just disconnected all the machines, and like about 10 minutes later, he finally passed.”

Lloyd said she is comforted by the spiritual presence of Ethan, which she says she feels often.

“I loved him with all of me,” she said. “I don’t know how to go from being a mom to having my son in a grave.”

* * *

Jolley was charged with first-degree felony murder for Ethan’s death. He told detectives he had left the boy alone, sitting in the tub, for 20 seconds or less, and returned to find Ethan face-down in the water, drowned.

Jolley pleaded guilty to reduced charges of one count each of child abuse homicide and child abuse. Each comes with a possible sentence of one to 15 years in jail. It has yet to be determined if sentences will run consecutively (two to 30 years) or concurrently (one to 15).

Jolley’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 11.

Lloyd’s grandmother, Angela McCalmant, said the whole family and its supporters are angry about the plea deal, which they believe allowed Jolley to reduce his sentence while continuing to lie about what actually happened.

“The court system letting this plea deal go through is an insult to Ethan, any kid who has ever been abused, our family, and anyone who knew Ethan,” McCalmant told Gephardt Daily.

Riki Lloyd. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

What if she hadn’t left her toddler alone with her new husband that night? What if she had never married Jolley, or she had known him longer before entering into the marriage?

What if she had seen the signs of his violence in time?

The doctor had written off the coffee burns as an accident, Lloyd said, and the highchair incident came just shortly before Ethan’s death. What if she had had more time to process the evidence in her mind?

The shock is beginning to wear off, and reality is setting in, Lloyd said.

“It’s been really hard,” she said. “There are some times where I can’t even really get out of the house, can’t really get out of bed. I had to go get antidepressant medicine. I just feel like I lost my purpose. I lost my whole entire universe.”

And there’s anger.

“A lot of anger,” Lloyd said. “A lot of disbelief, because my mind doesn’t really want to wrap around the fact of what really happened, and can’t really comprehend it yet. I’ve been trying to take it day by day, just survive, really. I’ve never really been this low. It’s the rock bottoms of all rock bottoms.”

“I miss that happiness, that little piece of life that was running around the front room.”

To hear more of Lloyd’s story, click on the video player at the top of the story.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Riki u did a good job here, it is sad that this piece of shit system is wanting to give him a plead deal, once again get more time for drugs then the actual death of a toddler. It is really really sad, and even worse from a state that claims family structure and family morals that this is even taking place, where I have seen not even as bad as crimes in other states and they throw the book at them. Sad real sad, we love ya sweetheart and stay focused or try….

  2. Its so terrible that this is what our world has come to …I just wonder how these people sleep at night …To even think of offering the pos any deal …This baby didn’t get offered a deal he got his life taken by the monster… This stuff has got too stop ….I honestly don’t think that making stiffer laws will help because if these monsters are going to do it They are not thinking about how they are breaking the law…Or even about the life they are taking BUT they need to pay…and I think the death is the easy way out…They need life without parole…PERIOD…THEY ARE SICK INDIVIDUALS AND I DON’T THINK THERE IS HELP FOR THEM …SO WHY TAKE THEM OUT OF THE CAGE THEY BELONG IN…BESIDES I’M A TAX PAYER AND I WILL GLADLY EVEN AGREE TO HIGHER TAXES IF IT MEANS THEY NEVER HAVE THE CHANCE TO HURT A INNOCENT CHILD/PERSON AGAIN….My heart breaks for this family and everyone who has been effected by this and every other case out there like this….Its time we take a stand and get these evil people off the streets once and for all.

  3. The most awful part is that this monster who choked & beat the life out of a tiny baby with his bare hands gets to pretend he was just some dumb goofball that left a baby in a tub so he could cook a burrito. He murdered that poor baby & left him laying there to die alone on a hallway floor.

  4. So heartbreaking how this innocent, helpless baby suffered. I hope that evil coward suffers every day of his miserable life and gets to see how it feels to be violently abused

  5. This is the worst thing a parent can go through. All the ‘what ifs’ won’t help. You did the best you could with the knowledge you had. Your baby boy is adorable and will live in Your heart and memories forever. Your story as hard as it is may save the lives of many others. Keep his memories alive, keep talking about all the sweet memories you have. The first year is the hardest, surround yourself with people that care about you.
    Love to you and yours.

  6. How can you not know your child is being abused??? Multiple injuries over a period of time? Did u not see the FEAR in your son’s eyes??? It’s your job to protect your child and you FAILED. Now u have to live with the guilt of knowing u chose a man over your kid. I wish they’d start charging these unfit mothers as accessories.

    • Velvette – All I had to do was look at 3 pictures of Ethan to see the absolute TERROR in his eyes when he sat next to that animal on the sofa while a little girl received a breathing treatment. How in the world does these women whom allow men into their lives NOT see what is clearly, right in front of them. I am a complete stranger and I see the fear, anguish, terror and sadness in that boys expressions. Shame on you Riki, you should feel guilt, sadness, failure, remorse and complete and utter heartbreak that YOUR hands are just as bloody as the piece of garbage man you let into your world and around your child!

  7. Are we supposed to feel sorry for this person? She allowed it to happen and now wants to be portrayed as the grieving mother. She’s as evil as it gets.

  8. Little Ethan did try to let her know he didn’t want to be left alone with him but she ignored the signals and wouldn’t see what was right in front of her. Yes, baby Ethan was scared of that monster and you could see the sadness and fear in his face. Jolley should be dead by now , beaten to death like he did a helpless baby

  9. This case will always haunt me. When I first saw the pictures of his injuries, tears filled my eyes, my stomach turned, and I just wanted to hold little Ethan and protect him. As a mother, I notice even the slightest changes in my children’s behavior, and every new scratch, bruise, and bump they get from their daredevil antics. With injuries as severe as Ethan’s (and I’ve read in numerous articles that medical attention was not sought, with all of them), I don’t know how a mother’s intuition wouldn’t scream “suspicious”. I think about Ethan often, and I wish so badly that someone, anyone, would have taken notice and action, and protected him. All I can say, is that I’ll forever mourn his loss. I don’t, nor will I ever, understand how anyone could harm an innocent child, or stand by without question, when it’s happening.

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