East Hanover Mom Faces Decades Behind Bars Covering Up Death of Son

Liam Christian

EAST HANOVER — An East Hanover mother faces decades behind bars for helping her boyfriend escape after he allegedly beat her son to death and then lied to police.

On Thursday, Krystal Straw, 29, pleaded guilty to child endangerment, witness tampering, and hampering an investigation. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16.

Edwin Urbina/Courtesy Morris County Prosecutor’s Office

Edwin Urbina, with a last known address of 14-02 Clyde Potts Drive, Morristown, the alleged killer of Straw’s three-year-old son, Liam Christian, who turned himself in, is scheduled for a pretrial conference on January 18.

According to news reports, Straw left her son and five-year-old daughter in Urbina’s care at the now-closed OYO Hotel on August 12, 2021, to work an overnight shift at QuickChek, despite being aware of past abuse by Urbina towards the young boy. In the early morning hours of August 13, Urbina called Straw about an emergency, and she soon realized that he had killed the boy.

Instead of alerting the authorities, she helped Urbina clear the hotel room and dropped him off at a residence before showing up at the hospital with her son. The three-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after 5 a.m. at Morristown Medical Center. Following an autopsy, the medical examiner determined the cause of death as multiple injuries and the manner of death as a homicide. The medical examiner also noted pre-existing injuries to the boy’s ribs and wrists that predated August 13.

She deleted communication with Urbina from her phone and told police that she had been with her kids all night and that the bruising occurred while she was trying to administer CPR.

Urbina, of Morristown, had allegedly told Straw that she wouldn’t get in trouble because she had a clean record. He told her not to tell anyone about his involvement due to his criminal history.

One day after authorities sought the public’s help with locating Urbina, he was taken into custody without incident on August 17 outside the Morris County Records and Administration building in Morristown.

Urbina, charged with murder and other offenses in the matter, rejected a plea deal that would have locked him up for 50 years. Urbina is accused of using a slipper or sandal to beat the child in the early morning hours between August 12 and August 13 while Straw was working an overnight shift at QuickChek.

Straw and Urbina were in a relationship before he went to prison in October 2018 after being convicted of a series of robberies in Morris and Sussex counties. The couple resumed their relationship after he was paroled in December 2020 from Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility, prosecutors said.

Urbina told prosecutors he wouldn’t accept any deal for more than ten years behind bars. Straw is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16. According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Urbina’s next court date, a pretrial conference, is scheduled for January 18.

A GoFundMe account was set up to help with Liam’s expenses. Click here to donate.

Laylah, Liam’s sister, is five years old and has experienced things in life that 99% of adults will never, and furthermore, a five-year-old. Unfortunately, Laylah did everything in her power to protect her little brother, and she will hold herself accountable for that due to the lack of priorities of the one that should have protected both of them; with that being said, Laylah will require extensive counseling throughout the remainder of her life, and we want to make sure she can get the help she requires without worry.

The donations received will go to the burial service for her brother, and then the remaining monies will go into a trust account that ONLY her aunt and she can access until she is 18 years old.