Authorities have reported the tragic death of an 8-year-old girl at an emergency room in North Carolina, with police suspecting her grandmother of being responsible for her murder.
The Nash County Sheriff’s Office stated that the severely injured child, whose identity has not been disclosed, was pronounced dead at Nash UNC Healthcare in Rocky Mount.
Initially believed to be 13 years old, authorities later determined that she was much younger. Investigators revealed that the incident involving the child took place around 4:30 p.m. on January 7 at a residence in Nashville, North Carolina.
According to the investigation, the home was occupied by six children, two adults, and the grandmother, Patricia Ann Ricks, 72. Some of the minors were present when the girl was allegedly subjected to physical abuse.
One of the other children present at the time made a distress call to 911, reporting that Ricks, who had legal guardianship over the minors, was driving the injured girl to the hospital. Unfortunately, the child passed away before investigators arrived.
During their inquiry, detectives discovered that the grandmother had purportedly beaten the girl, resulting in “severe injuries throughout her entire body and head.”
Ricks was subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse causing severe injury. Meanwhile, the other children in the household underwent medical evaluations and were placed under the care of the Department of Social Services.
While a motive for the killing has not been disclosed, authorities anticipate gathering more details once the autopsy report is finalized. Weapons were found inside the residence, although deputies did not provide specifics on the types of weapons or their involvement in the children’s case.
Ricks is currently held without bond at the Nash County Detention Center, and her initial court appearance is scheduled for February 9th.