COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The parents arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse were denied bond by a judge Thursday morning.
Robert Antonio Guinyard, Sr., 28, and Courtney Shante Thompson, 25, are accused of beating their 4-year-old child, Robert Guinyard, Jr. with a curtain rod because the boy failed to control his bodily functions.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said the child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and body.
Investigators say the boy had also been deprived of food and water and had also been abused after he drank water from the toilet.
Authorities say many family members had reported Thompson and Guinyard to the Department of Social Services multiple times. In fact, Robert had just been returned home following an incident three years ago.
"People had become involved in it, whether it was grandparents, whether it was DSS -- DSS placed at least three of the other children -- so obviously the environment wasn't a good environment. We believe through some of the interviews that Courtney wanted to have Robert stay at the house because he was afraid he was going to tell people he was being abused," said Richland County Maj. Stan Smith.
DSS released a statement on Robert's death, calling it a "horrible tragedy."
"The state level of DSS is conducting a full review of all of DSS' involvement with this child. It is premature to release information before we have fully investigated and evaluated what happened in this case," said the statement.
Guinyard and Thompson remain in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.