BOLIVAR COUNTY, Miss. (WTHR) – An autopsy shows a Mississippi baby was still alive when her grandmother allegedly placed her inside a hot oven.
The community of Shaw, Mississippi came out for a vigil to remember 20-month-old Royalty Marie. Investigators believe the girl’s grandmother stabbed her before putting her in the oven.
A coroner’s report said Royalty Marie died from wounds suffered by stabbing and burning, proving she was still alive when she was put into the oven at her grandmother’s home, reported WTHR.
Carolyn Jones, 48, is facing a first-degree murder charge in her granddaughter’s death. However, police have not yet determined a motive for the ghastly crime.
“It has been difficult. You’re never ready for this type of thing,” said Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams.
Processing a crime like this can have a lingering impact on LEOs. Sheriff Williams said the U.S. Marshals are offering support to help counsel his deputies if needed.
Meanwhile, the community is also still struggling to find answers to the question, “Why?”
“Well, I’ve been having restless nights,” said resident Barbara Williams.
“The love, support, the sharing that we do there in Shaw we always look out for each other and this was really shocking and it hurt,” said Shaw Mayor Everett Stanton.
Hence, local mental health counselors attended Tuesday’s vigil to offer support to a community that says they don’t want the crime to define their town.
Veronica Jones, the 20-month-old girl’s mother, said she is still coming to terms with the fact her own mother is allegedly responsible, Daily Mail reported.
“Royalty Marie Floyd was the best thing that ever happened to me. She’s my one and only daughter. My first love,” she said. Her daughter’s death was “the hardest thing that I ever had to go through in my life. My heart has been ripped from my chest.”
Continuing, she said, “I’m being told that my mother stabbed my daughter and baked her in the oven but my mother loved my daughter. She always treated Royalty like Royalty and everybody that knows us know that.”