Columbia woman charged with homicide by child abuse

Lorraine Devon Patrick
Lorraine Devon Patrick

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Lexington County Sheriff's Department, along with the US Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, arrested a 28-year-old Columbia woman and charged her with homicide by child abuse.

An arrest warrant alleges that Lorraine Devon Patrick, age 28, gave birth to a baby girl in the 23rd week of her pregnancy on September 29th at a local hospital. At the time of the girl's birth, tests performed by hospital personnel showed that Patrick and her baby girl both tested positive for cocaine.

Patrick did not name the baby girl, who died at the hospital at 9:40pm on October 3rd, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said.

A registered nurse at the hospital contacted the Lexington County Coroner's Office at 10:15pm on October 3rd to report the death.

Lorriane's mother, Brenda Jeffcoat, didn't even know why her granddaughter had died. "By the time I got to the hospital, when the hospital called me, I was there and they said the baby heart stopped."

Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman ordered an autopsy to be performed on October 4th on the body of Patrick's baby. Preliminary autopsy results show that Patrick's ingestion of cocaine while she was pregnant caused the baby to die prematurely as a result of a pulmonary hemorrhage, inner cranial bleeding and metabolic acidosis from intrauterine cocaine exposure.

Investigators say, after the baby was born, Ms. Patrick went on the run.

Lorraine Patrick was making funeral arrangements Tuesday evening for her dead baby girl. Within a few minutes, police arrived.

After a brief struggle, she was arrested. Her other two children were with Patrick as US Marshals had to use force to take their mother away. Jeffcoat says, "They screamed and they said, 'Mom, mom they going to kill her.' By the time I got around there, they done wrestled her to the floor."

While Ms. Patrick is still in jail, her mother is taking care of the other two children, and still trying to deal with what is happening to her daughter. Brenda says, "I'm blank. I'm empty. But I love her regardless."

Patrick was being held on Wednesday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a November Ninth bond hearing.

Reported by Brandi Cummings

Posted by Bryce Mursch