Recognizing signs of physical child abuse
A Lancaster woman has been charged with homicide by child abuse in the Nov. 2018 death of a toddler, according to sheriff’s officials.
Romesha Monet Brantley, 23, was arrested Tuesday in the death of 14-month-old De’Yontae Monterio Miller Jr., said Barry Faile, Lancaster County Sheriff. She also is charged with three counts of felony child neglect concerning two other children, and drug violations.
The father of the 14-month-old child is charged with felony neglect in the case, which was investigated for almost eight months, according to a statement released by deputies on Friday.
De’Yontae Monterio Miller Sr., 25, is charged with felony neglect concerning his son, and two counts of child neglect concerning two other small children who were in the house, deputies said. Miller also faces three drug charges, jail and sheriff’s officials said.
The 14-month-old boy was found dead Nov. 6, 2018 in a 14th Street home shared by Brantley and De’Yontae Miller Sr., deputies said.
An autopsy showed the child had been beaten to death, deputies said.
The cause of death was determined to be non-accidental blunt force trauma of the head, the neck, the torso, and the extremities, Faile said in a written release. Some of the injuries were recent but others were weeks old, Faile said.
Agents from the State Law Enforcement Division child fatality task force, Lancaster County detectives, and other officers worked the case.
South Carolina law requires SLED to investigate the death of any child under age 18.
“This has been a long but thorough investigation,” Failed said in a written release. “The backgrounds of these adults and children have been examined. Forensic evidence has been tested. When we were satisfied we knew what happened to this child, we sought warrants from the magistrate and made the arrests. This has been a difficult investigation for all those involved and certainly a sad and tragic end to the life of this child.”
Deputies found two other children in the home in November. One of the children was a child who Miller Sr. and Brantley had together, and another was Miller’s child, deputies said.
The investigation was ongoing until police conducted a second search warrant on Tuesday at a different house shared by Bradley and Miller Sr., Faile said. Illegal drugs were found Tuesday, Faile said.
Brantley remains in the Lancaster County jail without bond.
Miller Sr. was released from the Lancaster County Detention Center following his arrest on Tuesday after posting a $90,000 bond.