Parents charged in death of Sumter County infant boy - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Parents charged in death of Sumter County infant boy

Posted: Updated:
Erica Bell (Source: Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center) Erica Bell (Source: Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center)
Ronnie June (Source: Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center) Ronnie June (Source: Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center)

SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Two Dalzell parents have been charged in the death of their infant son.

Erica Sharice Bell, 22, and Ronnie Markice June, 23, were arrested Wednesday and charged with illegal neglect of a child.

Authorities say Bell found 9-week-old Ronnie M. June Jr. unconscious in his bed the night of April 5. He had blood coming from his nose and mouth and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The parents told officers they left the boy with an uncle when they went out hours earlier.

Sheriff's office Lt. Robert Burnish says the uncle wasn't notified the baby was in the mobile, was on the other end of the home, and had the volume turned up extremely loud on his television.

"Even if the child was crying, he probably would not have heard the child," said Burnish.

Authorities haven't said how the boy died. Coroner Harvin Bullock has said there were no signs of trauma or abuse.

"The estimate of about 60 to 70 percent of all confirmed cases of abuse and neglect are for neglect, and that really is a high number," said Joan Hoffman with the Children's Trust of South Carolina. "Neglect is the failure of a parent or a caregiver to act on that child's behalf."

Hoffman said in many of these reported cases, parents aren't even aware they're neglecting their child under the law.

"What's appropriate for an infant may not be appropriate for a 2 year old," Hoffman said.

Bell does have two children from a previous relationship.

Lt. Burnish said Department of Social Services has stepped in and placed them with their father.

It wasn't known if the parents had attorneys.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow