Orangeburg father charged in the death of his 6-week-old daughter

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 8:43 PM EDT

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – (WIS) An Orangeburg father is behind bars after police charged him in the recent death of his six-week-old daughter.

The baby died on March 16 following an incident at the family’s home at the St. Paul Apartments on Fletcher Street in Orangeburg.

27-year-old Emmanuel Dequan Folk, the girl’s father, faces charges of homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child.

The girl’s mother, Keasia Monee Ann Harrison, is not charged in her baby’s death.

She does also face a separate charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

“That’s a sad thing,” Jack Grayton, who has lived in the neighborhood for most of his life, said. “I don’t know how someone can, if true, I don’t know how someone can harm their kid. That’s a bad thing when a kid has something like that happen to them.”

Grayton believes certain steps could have been taken to prevent this young girl’s death.

“We need more prayer in this world to help people through, more counseling in low-income areas,” he said. “We need more counseling in this area. We need more policing, you know, stuff like that might’ve saved somebody.

An autopsy conducted on March 20 in Newberry revealed that the baby died of head trauma, with the girl’s manner of death ruled as a homicide.

Arrest warrants obtained by WIS allege Folk “did inflict or allow to be inflicted sustained, intentional head trauma” to his daughter, who was in his sole custody at the time.

The warrants for the unlawful conduct charges detail garbage, debris and roaches in the couple’s apartment.

It was found in a state of “uncleanliness and disarray,” an incident report states.

Grayton said he could not comment on how the couple lived because he had only interacted with them in passing and had seen the children playing outside the apartment.

“It seemed like a happy family to me,” he said. “I never went inside their house, never passed by, never knocked on their door, nothing.”

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety is leading the investigation.

Officers were called to MUSC-Orangeburg after the baby’s parents took her to the hospital around 5:30 P.M.

According to an incident report, the baby was unresponsive and not breathing.

Hospital staff attempted life-saving measures, but they were unsuccessful.

Folk told police that he is unemployed and takes care of the couple’s three children while Harrison is working.

He told officers that the baby was injured while sleeping on a bed. Another sibling jumped on top of her, he claimed.

The father alleges he drove all three children to Harrison’s place of work and then went to the emergency room.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) took custody of the couple’s remaining two children following the incident, citing the “filth” of the home and the blunt force trauma that was used against the baby.

WIS asked DSS on Tuesday whether those children remain in the agency’s custody.

In a statement, a DSS spokeswoman said, “DSS is investigating this case alongside local law enforcement. Given this is an open investigation, no additional information can be provided.”

Harrison was released on a $10,000 surety bond.

Bond has not been set for Folk. He is currently being held at the Orangeburg County Detention Center.

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