Mum of dead child in swing charged

A Maryland woman who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing last May has been charged with manslaughter and child abuse.

The Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office said Romechia Simms, aged 24, was arrested on Saturday and charged yesterday.

Simms and her three-year-old son, Ji’Aire Donnell Lee, arrived at Wills Memorial Park on May 20, said county sheriff’s office spokeswoman Diane Richardson. 

The mother put the boy, who was alive, into the swing, where he stayed until he and his mother were found on the morning of May 22.

The indictment charges her with manslaughter, first-degree child abuse, and child neglect.

Sheriff’s deputies went to the park at about 7am on May 22 after being called to check on the welfare of the woman and child, said Richardson.

The officers went to remove the boy from the swing and give him first aid, but “it was instantaneously clear the child was dead”, she said.

There were no signs of trauma to his body. Simms was taken to hospital.

A medical examiner had previously ruled the boy died of dehydration and low body temperature. His death was ruled a homicide. May 21 was cold said Richardson — “rather chilly and it drizzled all night”. 

Family members said Simms was suffering from mental illness.


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