SHAW, Miss. – A Mississippi grandmother was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday after her 20-month-old granddaughter was found stabbed and burned inside an oven.
Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams identified the woman as 48-year-old Carolyn Jones. Earlier, Williams told reporters that Jones had been taken in for questioning after the girl was found dead at a home in the Mississippi Delta town of Shaw Monday night, reported Fox News.
“I’ve been doing law enforcement for 25 or 26 years now,” Williams said. “This is one of the most horrible things I’ve seen in doing law enforcement. The hardest part … is to see a child victim.”
Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said officials are still investigating the cause of the girl’s death. They are trying to determine if she died before being placed in the oven. As a result, the toddler’s body has been sent to the state Crime Lab in Pearl for an autopsy. Williams said autopsy results were not yet complete Tuesday afternoon.
Breaking: 20 Month Old Stabbed and Cooked in Shaw
SHAW, MS (Ben Caxton) — Pam Chatman is reporting this evening that police are on the scene of a gruesome slaying in Shaw. Chatman says that the Bolivar County Sheriff's Department reports that "a 20-month old baby girl was –
— Tommy Tatum (@radiotommyt) October 16, 2018
Williams said Jones’s brother found the body Monday night. After the discovery, he called police in Shaw, a town of about 2,000 people approximately 100 miles northwest of Jackson. To assist with the investigation, local police called the sheriff’s office and others for assistance.
Williams said Jones was living in the house where the girl was found. Moreover, he said no one else was there at the time the murder took place.
However, authorities provided limited information. They were less clear on what led up to the death.
“That’s hard to say,” Williams said. “We don’t know.”
The sheriff said he settled on the murder charge after consulting with Bolivar County District Attorney Brenda Mitchell. Mitchell didn’t immediately return a phone call and an email seeking comment Tuesday.
The child was found inside a beige frame house in the north end of Shaw. Police crime scene tape still surrounded part of the house Tuesday morning. The yard was strewn with a stroller, a high chair, and a trash barrel of toys including a scooter that rested near the curb in front of the house. Williams said those toys had belonged to the child.
Unbelievably, this is not the first such case in the area. A woman in Greenville, about 20 miles from Shaw, pleaded guilty to killing her 3-year-old son in an oven in March 2011. According to the Fox report, Terri Robinson pleaded guilty to murder in 2012 in the death of Tristan Robinson. Washington County Coroner Methel Johnson said an autopsy found Robinson had died from heat injuries sustained in an electric oven.