COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a child at a home on Manse Street in Columbia.
Bobby Ramos Jr., 23, has been charged with homicide by child abuse.
“One is too many obviously,” Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. “When you have these types of situations where someone can harm and innocent, defenseless child is horrific.”
Ramos is an acquaintance of the victim’s mother.
“A lot of the time, the child is injured or killed by not the parent, by someone that is in the home for whatever reason whether it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend,” Watts said.
According to the coroner, Leo Mateo Pacheco, 3, died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and body.
“Baby deaths are particularly difficult for everyone from the first responding fire unit, to the EMS crew, to the hospital nurses and doctors, to the police officers and investigators, to my deputies, to the pathologist who has to deal with this,” Watts said. “Children aren’t supposed to die so anytime we have a child death, we know it’s a suspicious thing from the very beginning, and when it turns out to be something like this, it’s the most difficult thing that we do.”
Officers were called to a home on Tuesday morning after Pacheco was reportedly found unresponsive by his mother. He was taken to a local hospital by EMS.
CPD officers were dispatched to the hospital after medical staff pronounced Pacheco deceased.
“We know that children without some significant history don’t just die,” Watts said. “So if we have a child that dies we know we have a problem, and we have to figure out what that is.”
Pacheco’s 4-year-old brother was taken into emergency protective custody by CPD and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
Officials requested CPD’s Code Enforcement officers to respond due to the condition of the home’s interior such as lack of heat, hot water, and various plumbing and sanitation concerns.
Ramos is currently being housed at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. He is expected to appear in General Sessions court at a later date.