Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Deputies have upgraded charges against a Richland County mother accused of causing the death of her five-month-old baby.
Jennifer Coles, 28, is now charged with homicide by child abuse/neglect. Earlier, she'd faced a count of unlawful neglect of a child.
Back on April 22, Coles's son, Bryson Webb, died after he stopped breathing.
Sheriff Leon Lott says Webb was born premature, and when he was discharged from the hospital, doctors instructed Coles that the boy had to wear a monitor 24 hours a day. The monitor would send out an alarm if either his heart stopped or he wasn't breathing. Previous Coverage:Sheriff Says Heart Monitor Wasn't Put on Child for Weeks
Lott says the woman didn't put the monitor on the child consistently, however. When the child was found dead, deputies reported that the device was in the truck of the car.
The sheriff says the woman also didn't give the boy the medication he needed.
This case also led to questions about the way the Department of Social Services handles these situations. DSS opened a case to look into the matter on March 4th, but says it couldn't locate the family. Since this case became public, the agency says it will now ask for law enforcement's help if it can't find a child within 72 hours.