Ohio woman left injured one-year-old son to die alone in apartment, body found after neighbors complain of smell
33-year-old Wanisha F. Smith left the infant at the apartment after he had bumped his head into a chair and passed out
DAYTON, OHIO: An Ohio woman has been charged after her one-year-old toddler son was was found dead in an apartment earlier this week. According to court documents, 33-year-old Wanisha F. Smith is accused of injuring the child, leaving him alone and not getting him the necessary medical attention. She was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in Dayton municipal court on Thursday. However, she has pleaded not guilty on all charges.
During an interrogation with authorities, Smith admitted that she injured her son Darius Hall Jr. on May 16 by “bumping his head into a chair and rendering him unconscious and unresponsive,” Dayton Municipal Court documents read. “She stated although she knew he was injured, she never attempted to provide medical care for him,” the affidavit reads. “She stated she then left him alone … knowing doing so would cause him to die.”
Dayton police responded to Smith's apartment in the 1800 block of North James H. McGee Boulevard on Tuesday after neighbors reported they hadn't seen Smith of late. “Their concern was compounded due to a strange odor coming from the apartment,” Dayton Police Lt. Jason Hall said. “Once inside, [Dayton] firefighters located the remains of a small child who had clearly been deceased for some time.”
A 911 caller informed dispatchers that there was a bad smell coming from Smith's apartment. “I think there is someone over there deceased, there’s like a bad smell coming from her house like real bad,” the caller said, adding that a woman lived in the apartment but no one had been seen going into or coming out of the apartment in some time.
Upon arrival at the apartment, Dayton police summoned the Dayton Fire Department for additional help. “Out of a concern for the safety and well-being of anyone inside, the Dayton Fire Department was requested to the scene and assisted with entering the apartment,” said Lt. Hall. “Firefighters located the remains of a small child who had clearly been deceased for some time. A call-out was then made for detectives from both the Dayton Police Department Special Victims Unit and the Homicide Unit.”
According to court documents, the child had been left in the apartment since approximately May 16. A spokesperson for the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said they were not able to release the name of the boy due to legal reasons. Meanwhile, they are working to determine the child's official cause of death. Authorities found and arrested Smith in the 3200 block on Amanda Drive in Trotwood after considerable help from civilians. While she was originally booked on a preliminary murder charge, she was later formally charged with child endangering and involuntary manslaughter. Lt. Hall further revealed that detectives had confirmed her other children, who did not live with her, were all safe. According to Dayton Daily News, Montgomery County Children Services have said they do not have an open investigation connected to Smith or her deceased son.
Smith is currently remanded in custody at the Montgomery County Jail on a $1 million bond. A preliminary hearing on the case has been scheduled for June 19.