'Miracle child' thrown from Mall of America balcony 'showing real signs of recovery'
(FOX 9) - The family of the 5-year-old boy who was thrown from the third floor balcony at the Mall of America last Friday has "good news to share with you on this Good Friday."
"Our miracle child is showing real signs of recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead. Our faith in God, and our Savior Jesus, is strong, and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue our appeal for privacy as we focus on our son, and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support, for they seem to be working. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts."
The man accused of throwing the boy, Emmanuel Aranda, 24, is charged with attempted murder. According to the charges, the boy's mother said she and her son were with a friend and a friend's child outside the Rainforest Cafe on the third floor of the mall around 10:15 a.m. when Aranda, whom they did not know, approached them.
Aranda came very close to them, so the boy's mother asked if they were in the way and should move. Aranda then picked up her son, threw him off the balcony and fled the scene.
Police estimate the child fell approximately 39 feet and landed in front of multiple people. Officers rendered aid to the boy and he was taken to Children's Hospital. Medical personnel said he had multiple fractured bones in his arms and legs, was bleeding from the head and had massive head trauma.
A witness tried to keep Aranda from leaving the scene, but he pushed them away and continued running. Officers located him waiting for the light rail train and arrested him.
After his arrest, Aranda agreed to speak with officers and admitted he was the one who had thrown the boy off the balcony. He said he come to the mall on Thursday planning to kill an adult because they usually stand near the balcony, but it did not "work out." He returned to the mall on Friday and chose the 5-year-old boy instead.
FOX 9 obtained a 2018 missing person report filed by Aranda's family in which his sister describes the now 24-year-old as a vulnerable adult suffering from "mild neurocognitive disorder." She noted he is able to care for himself, but needs assistance with some things.
Aranda is due back in court next month.
A GoFundMe online fundraiser has now raised more than $880,000. Organizers recently upped their goal to $1 million to allow more people to donate.
A P.O. Box has now been set up for those who want to send cards and well wishes to Landen and his family.
Prayers for Landen
P.O. Box 43516
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443-4200
A recent update from the family has also debunked a photo circulating on social media of a mother in a surgical mask next to a boy in a hospital bed, saying it is not Landen and his mother. Landen's family is still seeking privacy and does not plan on releasing any photos during his recovery process.