Authorities say a 46-year-old day care worker was arrested and charged in connection with the death of a child, whose body was found in the driveway of a home in Mobile, Alabama. Fox 10 TV reports that around 3 p.m. on Monday, as a group of high school students were walking home from school, they made a grim discovery.
In the driveway of a home in the 2100 block of Demetropolis Road laid the body of Kamden Johnson, believed to be 5- or 6-years-old, clad in a school uniform–a blue polo style shirt, and khaki pants. One of the teens told detectives that they initially thought the boy was sleeping and tried to wake him up.
When emergency medical services arrived at the scene, the child was pronounced dead.
In a news conference, Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste stated that Valarie Rena Patterson is a primary suspect in the case. He went on to say that hours after Kamden was found dead, she went to the police headquarters to speak with investigators, which led to her arrest in connection to the child’s death.
Mobile arrest records indicate that Patterson, an employee at the Community Nursery and Preschool on Hillcrest Road, has 12 prior arrests, which include charges of theft of property, fleeing as a fugitive from the state of Florida, negligent driving with kids in the car, failure to appear in court, and giving a false name or address.
One of Patterson’s responsibilities at the preschool was to drive the preschool students around in the company’s van.
Circumstance leading up to the child’s death is unknown, but investigators are working diligently to uncover what happened to Kamden. His remains were transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences where an autopsy will be executed to determine the exact cause of death.
A preliminary autopsy result determined that there were no signs of physical trauma to Kamden’s body, police say.
When the community learned that a Community Nursery and Preschool Academy staff member was arrested in connection to the child who was found dead on Demetropolis Road, they were stunned. At least one parent claims that she will be removing her child from the school as a result of the incident.
Pastor Carl and Angela Coker, the owners of the Mobile day care center where Kamden attended, released the following message via Facebook.
“Good afternoon Facebook family. I’m speaking out on behalf of Community Nursery and Preschool Academy. For years we have won your hearts, spreading love to your kids throughout Mobile. Before yesterday, we were on everyone’s lips as one of the top centers in Mobile. We are still people of character, people of integrity, and people of an abundance of love.”
“Through all of this, God will prevail. He will get the glory. We need to be praying for all those involved, both victims and the alleged accusers are a part of us. We are torn up on every hand. Please stop spreading your assumptions and putting the spirit of fear and anger in innocent people. Right now, we don’t have any answers but when we get anything definitely, we will make a statement. Thank you.”
Patterson remains at the Mobile Metro Jail on corpse abuse charges, a Class C felony. The day care worker could face additional charges pending Kamden’s autopsy results.
[Featured Image by Kim Rynders/AP Images]