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08-02-07, 12:37 AM #1
2 Children’s Bodies Stashed Under Sink
They had been left inside car while mother worked, police say
By BRUCE SMITH - The Associated Press
Children’s time of death is unknown
HANAHAN — The mother’s note tells police part of the story.
But it doesn’t answer all their questions about the deaths of two toddlers, whose bodies were found Monday wrapped in trash bags under a sink in their apartment.
The children had been left inside their mother’s car while she was at work in downtown Charleston on Sunday, Berkeley County Deputy Coroner George Oliver said.
Authorities want to talk to Sametta Heyward, their distraught mother, who was charged Tuesday with two counts of homicide by child abuse.
Autopsies had been done on 1-year-old Triniti Campbell and 4-year-old Shawn Campbell Jr., but the causes of death were not immediately released, the Berkeley County coroner’s office said.
A distraught Heyward, 27, was taken to a hospital Monday night after authorities discovered her children. She arrived at the police station a day later in handcuffs and hospital scrubs.
Investigators found a note Heyward left at her apartment, explaining she had arranged for a baby sitter, but when plans fell through, she took the children with her in the car, Oliver said.
“She pretty much laid out the scenario,” Oliver said. “Apparently that’s her justification for taking the children with her and for leaving them in the car.”
Oliver said officials have not determined where the children died.
Officers investigated a report of a disturbance at Heyward’s apartment Monday night and found her crying and yelling, “Oh, my babies,” according to an incident report.
A man holding Heyward told officers “the kids were in trash bags and under the cabinet.”
The police report said Heyward tried to bite and kick the officers, had to be restrained and was taken to a hospital because medics thought she could be having seizures.
“She stated she wanted to die and asked officers to kill her,” the report said.
Hanahan Police Chief Don Wilcox said investigators have not been able to talk to the woman because she was advised by an attorney not to say anything.
“We’re trying to run down the timeline, as well as get any physical evidence, so we can determine exactly what took place,” Wilcox said.
Charleston attorney Andrew Savage confirmed he was representing Heyward. He said he was contacted by Heyward’s family and met her in the hospital shortly before she was discharged.
“She actually couldn’t really talk. She knew we were there, but she was grieving,” Savage said. “It was really to tell her we were there, supportive of her, and we were going to help her.”
Savage said he doesn’t plan to ask for a bail hearing until he learns more about the case, especially about Heyward’s mental health.
Tony Smith, 30, lives three doors down from Heyward at The Willows apartment complex and has known her since May, when she moved in, he said.
Smith and his wife, Sheryce Robertson, 27, used to take Triniti and Shawn to a nearby park, where they watched the children swing and go down the slide. Heyward also lives with a 12-year-old son, Ondre, who has been out of state visiting his father, Smith said.
“It’s a tragedy,” Smith said. “Like I told my wife earlier, if there ever was a rewind button on life, I’d use it right now. But there’s not. What’s done is done.”
Smith said Heyward typically worked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday at a house in Charleston where she cared for the disabled. She pushed for more hours and got them Sunday when she said she was going to work from 3 to 6 p.m., Smith said.
Heyward left with her children about 1:30 p.m. Sunday and told Robertson she was taking them to their aunt’s house, Robertson said. That’s the last time Robertson saw them, she said.
Robertson has unanswered questions, but said only Heyward and God know the truth.
“Until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes, you cannot judge them. Only God can.”
Smith and Robertson paused Tuesday night as they watched the news, including a video they shot in their apartment of Shawn and Triniti dancing, as Triniti held a large stuffed Care Bear.
“It wasn’t her,” Smith said of Heyward. “That wasn’t the person we knew. She always seemed so happy, her and the kids.”
Jennifer Covington, 36, another neighbor, said she saw Triniti sitting on the stairs Sunday eating Gummi Bears, and that the girl smiled at her.
“It’s really sad,” Covington said. “You’d think the parents would know not to put their kids in the car, you know what I mean? It’s crazy. ...”
Angela Brown, 25, another neighbor, saw Heyward at 9 a.m. Monday in the parking lot and they exchanged hellos. Everything seemed fine, she said.
“You wonder if you coulda stopped something or stepped in to stop the whole situation from happening,” Brown said as she was walking her 11-month-old twins in a stroller.
Heyward lived on the second floor of The Willows, a two-story apartment complex with cranberry red doors. There are 44 units at the complex, which resembles a motel.
Apartment manager Ricky Dyson said the 252-square-foot apartment had a queen-size bed, a small bathroom and an efficiency kitchen.
He said Heyward wasn’t going to stay long and was looking for another place.
“She was just ... out there making a living.”
Yellow police tape was put up along the door to Heyward’s apartment at midday Tuesday. A small white teddy bear had been placed outside the apartment.
A cousin visited the apartment complex with other relatives Tuesday afternoon and said the family was praying for Heyward.
“We don’t know what happened,” Jerome Heyward said.
“The Police Department hasn’t given us any information. ... She was a good person who worked all her life.”Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
08-02-07, 11:58 AM #2
Sometimes....being a parent myself.....I wish that parenting came with an instruction manual. Then sometimes......I wish that manual could have been given to others. But....sometimes I know that some people just aren't meant to be parents. This saddens me to no end.
My beach trip can't get here fast enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!I'm ready for spring!
08-02-07, 07:19 PM #3
Truly Terrible. She should eject herself from the planet...yesterday"Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"
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