The mother of a baby and her boyfriend have been arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse in connection with the case of a missing 11-month-old, police said Sunday.
Police said “it was with great sadness and heavy hearts” that an initial charge of attempted murder had been upgraded to counts of homicide Sunday.
“Yesterday, officials discovered what we believe to be the remains of the baby,” Myrtle Beach police Capt. Joey Crosby said in a release Sunday. “Additional examination and testing will be needed to validate our belief.”
The mother, 19-year-old Ladasha Harriett, was initially facing a potential attempted murder charge when she was arrested by police in Columbia on Friday. Two days later, she and her 22-year-old boyfriend, Daquan Jamal Simmons, are each charged with homicide by child abuse, according to Crosby.
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The two were granted public defenders in a bond hearing held by video conference in a Myrtle Beach courtroom Sunday afternoon.
Municipal Judge Glenn V. Ohanesian told the two he would not be able to set their bonds due to the nature of the charge filed against them.
“I’m just here to advise you of your rights and let you know that bond is going to be set in a different court,” Ohanesian said.
Simmons and Harriett each asked when and where that bond hearing will be held.
“When will I be able to go to that particular court?” Harriett asked.
“I would assume that you’re going to be transferred to Conway today and when that hearing is going to get set, I don’t have any control over or knowledge of,” Ohanesian said. “That’s something for the circuit court to handle over in Conway.”
Simmons quietly shook his head as the judge described the punishment they face of 20 years to a possible life in prison, if convicted.
Crosby announced Thursday night that detectives launched an investigation into the missing baby’s disappearance after receiving information that the 11-month-old hadn’t been seen since July.
Police served a search warrant at a home along 3rd Avenue South on Thursday evening as part of the investigation.
Harriett and Simmons are scheduled for initial appearances before an Horry County judge on their charges at 1 p.m. Dec. 8. Probable cause hearings, if requested, will likely be held before then.
Simmons was charged with unlawfully carrying a pistol last October. He was out on bond under that charge when he was arrested in connection with the missing baby case on Sunday, according to online court records.