Officials: Mother pushed toddler for two days, boy’s death ruled homicide

WASHINGTON — A boy who was found dead as his mother pushed him in a swing in a La Plata park died of dehydration and hypothermia and his death has been ruled a homicide, according to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Three-year-old Ji’Aire D. Lee was found dead in the swing at Wills Memorial Park on May 22 after officers were called there for a report that a woman had been pushing a toddler for an unusually long period of time.

Investigators with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office now say that Ji’Aire’s mother brought him to the park, alive, two days earlier. She continued to push him in the swing until officers arrived at the park after almost 44 hours had passed.

Ji’Aire’s mother was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. Police have not released her name but Ji’Aire’s father has identified her as 24-year-old Romechia Simms. The boy’s father James Lee has said that Simms was mentally ill and that he unsuccessfully sought custody of the toddler.

The case has been forwarded to the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

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