A South Carolina mother is accused of murdering her young daughter with special needs and stuffing her body inside a bedroom dresser drawer.
Jackleen Mullen, 23, and boyfriend Audrevious Williams, 26, were arrested Wednesday morning and charged with the death of India Martin, 4, Rock Hill Police Lt. Michael Chavis told the Rock Hill Herald. They face charges of homicide by child abuse, which carries a potential life sentence in South Carolina.
Police said they were first called to Mullen's house late Tuesday for a report of a potential child fatality. The couple first told authorities Martin was in North Carolina with family, but investigating officers said they determined that was a lie and performed a search of the house after obtaining a warrant.
Officers say they found India's body inside a bedroom dresser.
“We found this child, dead, stuffed in a drawer,” Rock Hill Police Det. Keenan McCrorey said in court Wednesday, according to the Herald. Mullen “showed no emotion” during the investigation or when her daughter’s body was found by police detectives, he added.
Police noted that India was a special-needs and disabled child, according to the Associated Press.
No cause of death was released, but the little girl showed signs of trauma from beating and respiratory distress, police said. Further details surrounding the girl's death, like her exact time of death, have not been disclosed to the public.
Neither Mullen nor Williams spoke in court Wednesday afternoon and were assigned public defenders, according to the Herald. The couple also has children together, but a judge barred them from seeing the surviving children and also denied bond.
Both Mullen and Williams are currently being held at the Rock Hill Detention Center, according to a review of online jail records.
No trial date has been set due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in all York County jury trials to be suspended for the time being, the Herald reported.
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