Pushing your child on a swing is often a fond memory for most parents. For Romechia Simms it turned out to be a deadly one.
When Sheriff's deputies received a call about a woman pushing a child on a swing at odd hours, they never expected what they found when they arrived at a park in La Plata, Maryland.
Simms was said to have suffered mental illness at the time of her son's death.
She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and told authorities that she stopped taking her medication for a couple of days before her son's death.
3-year-old Ji'aire died of hypothermia and dehydration after his mother kept him on the swing set for 40 hours.
Police had found Ji'Aire's jacket in the trash and his shoes off his feet filled with rain water.
Wills Memorial Park is visible from the road, but bordered on one side by woods in the town of La Plata, about 30 miles southeast of Washington.
She put J'Aire in the swing but found herself unable to lift him out, Elizabeth Connell, Simms public defender said.
“And then the voices started telling her, ‘Don’t worry. Someone is coming. Someone is going to come,’ ” her attorney said.
That's when the mother waited patiently. Night fell, it began to rain and the temperature fell to 51 degrees and she continued to wait.
“She was just trapped,” Connell said. “What was happening was a mental breakdown, mental illness taking over her.” And she kept pushing the swing, even as her son lost consciousness.
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