Update Sept. 14, 9:00 a.m.
A Charles County Grand Jury has indicted Romechia Marie Simms of La Plata for her actions involving the death of her three-year-old son Ji’Aire Donnell Lee. Simms, 24, has been charged with, First Degree Child Abuse, Manslaughter and Child Neglect. Simms was arrested on Saturday, September 12, 2015 and will be arraigned on Monday, September 14, 2015 in the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland.
Update, June 30, 3:14 p.m.
Charles County Sheriff’s detectives are continuing their investigation into the death of Ji’Aire Donnell Lee, 3, who was found deceased last month at Wills Memorial Park in La Plata. On June 24, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled the manner of death a homicide and the cause of death dehydration and hypothermia.
The investigation started on May 22, at 6:55 a.m., when officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and La Plata Town Police responded to the park upon being notified of a woman who had been pushing a toddler in a swing for an unusually long period of time. When officers arrived, they found Ji’Aire’s mother pushing him in the swing but Ji’Aire was deceased. There were no obvious signs of trauma. Ji’Aire’s mother, 24, was transported to a hospital for an evaluation.
The investigation showed Ji’Aire and his mother arrived at the park on Wednesday, May 20 at about 11:15 a.m. Ji’Aire, who was alive, was placed in the swing where he stayed until he and his mother were discovered. Additional details are not available at this point and the case will be reviewed by the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Memorial at Wills Park in La Plata for Ji’Aire Donnell Lee
The deceased toddler has been identified as Ji’Aire Donnell Lee (pictured left, photo via GoFundMe), born to Romechia Simms (mother) and James “Donnell” Lee (father).
According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, Lee had been trying to get sole custody of Ji’Aire since March 2015.
It goes on to say “Due to tragic unforseen circumstances, Ji’Aire passed away on the morning of Friday, May 22nd. He was adored by his family. The family needs financial help to give our angel, Ji’Aire, a proper homecoming. Donations are appreciated. Thank you for your prayers , thoughts, and random acts of kindness.”
Charles County Sheriff’s Office PIO, Diane Richardson told The BayNet that an autopsy has been completed on the toddler but the sheriff’s office is awaiting the results of the autopsy before releasing anymore information.
Richardson said that the toddler’s mother is still in the hospital.
On May 22 at 6:55 a.m., officers were dispatched to Wills Memorial Park, 500 St. Mary’s Avenue, La Plata, in reference to a woman who had been pushing a toddler in a swing for an unusually long period of time – the woman and child had possibly been at the park since the day before.
When officers arrived, they found the woman pushing a three-year-old male in a swing at the playground.
Officers immediately noticed the toddler was deceased. There were no obvious signs of trauma.
The child was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore where an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
The child’s mother, 24, of no fixed address, was transported to a hospital for a medical evaluation.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Det. C. Shankster at (301) 609-6513. The investigation is ongoing.