Woman already accused of murdering her 5-month-old son now charged with crimes against nature


Elyssa Anne Kucharski appears in a booking photo

Elyssa Anne Kucharski appears in a booking photo. (Wilson County Sheriff’s Office)

A North Carolina woman already facing allegations that she killed her 5-month-old son is now being charged with crimes against nature.

In October, Elyssa Anne Kucharski, 27, was charged with one count each of murder, child abuse, and concealing or failing to report a death, according to Wilson County court records reviewed by Law&Crime. At the same time, her boyfriend, Taylor Dale Lucas, 33, was charged with two counts of accessory to murder after the fact, and one count of concealing or failing to report a death.

This week, Kucharski was charged with six counts of crimes against nature, court records show. The vague Tar Heel State statute is a felony offense criminalizing unspecified crimes against “mankind or beast.” All appellate case law suggests that it the charge is typically filed as an “add on” in other sex crimes cases for almost anything other than procreational heterosexual sex, according to University of North Carolina criminal law scholar Prof. Jessica Smith.

On Sept. 28, 5-month-old Ragnar Kucharski was found unresponsive by Wilson County sheriff’s deputies responding to a child welfare call at around 9:15 p.m. at a residence on Little Rock Church Road in the tiny town of Lucama – which is roughly 50 miles east of Raleigh.

Law enforcement performed CPR on the child until EMS arrived but their efforts were in vain, according to Durham-based ABC affiliate WTVD. Officials later determined the boy had been dead long before anyone made the 911 call that night, according to Raleigh-based NBC affiliate WRAL. Full autopsy results have yet to be released, but officials believe the child was, at least in part, suffocated to death.

Kucharski would allegedly go on to tell investigators that she left her boy sleeping in an outbuilding behind the house that belonged to her boyfriend’s family but returned home to find Ragnar face down and unresponsive. Lucas, for his part, gave an interview to WRAL on Sept. 28 in which he reportedly confirmed Kucharski’s story and said he performed CPR on the boy while telling her to call 911.

According to court documents in the case obtained by WRAL, the Wilson County Department of Social Services made the 911 call about Ragnar – not anyone at the residence. Lucas is accused of lying to investigators about what happened on the day the boy died.

“From our investigation, the child had been deceased for some time before the incident was reported to law enforcement,” Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Staff Wanda Samuel told The Wilson Times. “It was apparent that neither Elyssa Kucharski nor Taylor Lucas called for help or called 911 to obtain lifesaving efforts for the child.”

Kucharski was detained without bond in the Wilson County Detention Center. Taylor was granted a $100,000 secured bond.

Both are slated to appear in court date on July 4, 2024 over the charges related to Ragnar’s death. Kucharski had an initial appearance scheduled for Monday on the crimes against nature charges.

According to various local media reports, Kucharski pleaded guilty to negligent child abuse with serious bodily injury in 2021 and surrendered two of her children to county child protection authorities.

Law&Crime repeatedly reached out to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office for additional details on this story but no response was immediately forthcoming at the time of publication.

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