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Toddler Found Dead in Park Swing, Pushed by the Mom for Two Days, Was Alive When He Came to the Playground


"Unusually long period of time."

Officials have determined that a toddler, who was found dead in swing still being pushed by his mother on a Maryland playground, died of dehydration and hypothermia last month.

Three-year-old Ji'Aire Lee was found dead on May 22 as his 24-year-old mother, identified as Romechia Simms, pushed him in a swing at Willis Memorial Park in La Plata, Maryland. According to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, the boy was discovered after a concerned citizen reported seeing the toddler in a swing for "an unusually long period of time."

The death of 3-year-old Ji'Aire Lee was ruled a homicide. Officials determined he died of hypothermia and dehydration after he was found dead in a playground swing still being pushed by his mother two days after they arrived at the park. (Image source: WJLA-TV)

Investigators determined that the boy was still alive when Simms brought him to the park on May 20 around 11:15 a.m. Police received the call two days later and discovered the mother pushing the now deceased boy.

At the time, there were no obvious signs of trauma. Simms was taken to the hospital for evaluation. The sheriff's office spokeswoman Diane Richardson told WRC-TV it was "rather chilly and it drizzled all night" on May 20.

No charges have been brought in the case yet pending an investigation by the state's attorney's office. (Image source: WJLA-TV)

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled the death a homicide after finding Ji'Aire died of dehydration and hypothermia. The sheriff's office said there are no other details available at this time and the investigation regarding the situation continues.

According to WRC, the state's attorney's office is still conducting its own investigation and no charges have been filed. The news station also noted that James Lee, Ji'Aire's father, said he tried to get full custody of his son, fearing Simms had a mental illness.

Watch WJLA-TV's report:

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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