A South Carolina woman who allegedly claimed she suffered a medical emergency as her 18-month-old grandson died in a hot car, was charged in connection with his death after police said they found inconsistencies with her story.
Police announced on August 29 that they’ve arrested Janet Nix, 64, and charged her with homicide by child abuse for the May 31 death of Joe Avery James Lockaby. WHNS reported that authorities believe Lockaby was left in the vehicle parked in Nix’s driveway for at least four hours.
Senior Deputy Coroner Kent Dill told The Greenville News that Lockaby was in the car with the windows up for a “period of time” before Nix retrieved him from the vehicle. By then, he was already unresponsive, Dill said.
The late child’s mother, Crista Nix, told WHNS that Janik had Lockaby for the night when she intended to take him to get a happy meal. After the baby was placed in the car, the grandmother realized she left her keys and suffered an undisclosed medical condition inside the home, the mother said
A coroner’s report obtained by the newspaper estimated that the “time of injury” was 2 p.m; Lockaby was pronounced dead at 5 p.m.
Speaking with The Associated Press, Greenville County Sheriff’s spokesman Seargent Ryan Flood said investigators discovered inconsistencies but he declined to reveal what those might be.
“During the course of [our] investigation, investigators determined Nix was negligent while the victim was in her care as the child was left in a motor vehicle for an extended period of time, ultimately resulting the in the victim’s death,” Sgt. Ryan Flood stated in a statement acquired by WHNS.
Even in light of the recent criminal charges, Crista said she still believes her son’s death was the result of a terrible mishap. Meanwhile, bond was denied during a court hearing on Wednesday.
“I know she didn’t do it intentionally and I will never believe that,” she said of her stepmother. “She would never do that, much less to her own grandchildren.”
[Featured Image: Joe Avery James Lockaby/GoFundMe]