The death of a toddler whose lifeless body was found in a swing being pushed by his mother in May has been ruled a homicide. It was learnt that the 3 year old had been placed in the swing for 2 days before he was found dead with his mother still pushing him in that swing, according to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
The officers went to remove the boy from the swing and give him first aid, but “it was instantaneously clear the child was dead,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Diane Richardson said. There were no signs of trauma to his body.
Ji’Aire died of dehydration and hypothermia, authorities said. The Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled the death a homicide last week.
No charges have been filed, pending the state’s attorney’s investigation.
May 21 was cold for late May, Richardson said, “rather chilly and it drizzled all night.”
Ji’Aire’s father, James Lee, previously said he had attempted to get sole custody of the boy, just days before he was found dead. Lee said he had been concerned the boy’s mother, Romechia Simms, was suffering from mental illness. He said he did not want to keep Simms out of his life forever but wanted her to get help. He believed he was the better parent at the time. A judge disagreed.
Soon after, Simms took Ji’aire to a motel in Waldorf, near where her mother lives. Two days before Ji’Aire was found dead, Simms called Lee, telling him he needed to pick her and their son up immediately. But by the time he was done with work, Simms stopped answering Lee’s calls.
On Friday, Simms’ mother called Lee, telling him his son was dead.
Simms suffers from depression and bipolor disorder and had ‘some kind of psychotic episode’ in the park, her mother, Vontasha Simms, 47, said.
She had also suffered a mental breakdown in February and does not remember what happened in the park at the time of her son’s death, family members said.
At her son’s funeral, 24-year-old Simms–who was hospitalized for four days following her son’s death–sang ‘This Little Light of Mine’ along side the boy’s father, James ‘Donnell’ Lee, 29, and other mourners in early June.
Ji’Aire was just months away from his fourth birthday.