One month ago, the world was horrified to hear about the dead toddler who was found being pushed by his mother in a park swing. An autopsy has since been performed and the medical examiner has ruled the death of Ji’Aire Lee as a homicide.
According to the Huffington Post, the 3-year-old boy died of hypothermia and dehydration. Authorities determined that Ji’Aire Lee was brought to the park alive two days before he was found by police. It is believed that his mother, Romechia Simms, suffers from mental illness, causing her to leave the child in the swing for hours on end and through chilly nights. When police finally found Ji’Aire Lee at around 7 a.m. on May 22, the toddler was already dead, but his mother was still pushing him on the swing.
According to NBC Washington, police officers tried to resuscitate the boy after they removed him from the swing, but “it was instantaneously clear the child was dead.”
The first autopsy of the boy’s body could not determine cause of death. There were no signs of trauma or injury. But a follow-up examination was performed on June 24, confirming that Ji’Aire Lee was essentially frozen to death and/or died of thirst. It’s still unclear when exactly the toddler died during the two days in the park swing. It is also unclear how long his mother was with him, pushing the swing.
Romechia Simms was brought in for a mental evaluation after police officials realized “it didn’t appear that she was fully aware of what was going on.” The mother has still not been charged with murder or arrested for the death of Ji’Aire. However, the case is scheduled to be heard by a grand jury in one week.
The story becomes even sadder when you learn that the father of Ji’Aire Lee, James Lee, knew Simms was suffering from a serious mental illness and tried to get sole custody of his son. He wasn’t attempting to shut out the mother, but he wanted to take care of Ji’Aire while Simms sought help. A Maryland judge declined the offer, which ultimately led to the boy’s unfortunate death. Simms reportedly called James Lee several times asking him to pick up the boy immediately. By the time he finished his work shift, Romechia Simms would not answer her phone.
What do you think happened at the park? Do you think Simms intentionally let Ji’Aire Lee die?
[Image credit: Getty]