Horry County authorities have confirmed that the body of missing Baby Grace has been located in the water near Shem Creek Circle, where she had been missing since Tuesday. Now, her mother has been charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, and has been denied bond. Numerous questions remain in this case, in particular regarding what the mother’s motive truly was for putting her baby in the water. Was this child’s death an accident like Sarah Lane Toney claims, or did the South Carolina mom murder her infant?
The State reports that five-month-old Grace, known in media reports as only “Baby Grace,” was taken into the cold waters of Shem Creek Circle by her mother Sarah Lane Toney. The Horry County mother has expressed that she “couldn’t hold onto” her infant, which led to her being carried away by the current. Even though the South Carolina mom says it was all an accident, she still has not shared her reasoning for why she went into the freezing water with her baby in the first place. What’s also curious in this case is the fact that she has only been charged (so far) with unlawful conduct toward a child. At this time it’s not known if the woman will face upgraded charges now that the body of her missing infant has been located.
— jmouryl (@jmouryl) November 6, 2015
— The Sun News (@TheSunNews) November 5, 2015
The 33-year-old Myrtle Beach woman was reportedly witnessed going toward the water with her baby in her arms on Tuesday. Myrtle Beach Online reports that the search for Baby Grace spanned nearly three days before her lifeless body was found. Now medical examiners will need to determine what her official cause of death is, and whether or not she was deceased before or after her mother carried her into the water. During her court appearance, the woman still refused to provide a reason for why she entered the water with her baby.
“I went into the water with her and was unable to hold on to her. I didn’t intentionally put her in any danger. I was going with her and I wasn’t able to hold on to her when the water sucked me in.”
Sarah Lane Toney has a lengthy criminal history involving domestic violence and drug possession. At the time of her most recent arrest (in association with the disappearance of her baby), she was on probation stemming from a March arrest. She had been charged with possession of methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as marijuana. She had also been arrested for shoplifting and attempting to furnish a prisoner with contraband. The mother of Baby Grace is an alleged career criminal, who has also been deemed a flight risk by the court. This is why she was denied bond in court on Thursday.
They finally found the body of Baby Grace. Her mother threw her into a creek a few days ago. She was 5 months old. 💔
— SC mom & wife ❤ (@charlesbellesc) November 5, 2015
Many details surrounding the disappearance of Baby Grace have not been clarified by authorities — such as whether or not Toney was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of Tuesday’s incident. In the meantime, all that can be done is to wait for medical examiners to determine an actual cause of death in Grace’s case.
[Photo: via Twitter/WMBF News]