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Sumter woman denied bond after death of toddler in her care

Victoria Dukes was supposed to be taking care of the 21-month-old girl while her mother was working. However, the child was unresponsive when returned to family.

SUMTER, S.C. — A Sumter woman who was caring for a family member's baby daughter has been charged following the child's death.

According to the Sumter Police Department, 48-year-old Victoria Dukes was caring for the 21-month-old child while her mother went to work. Dukes is said to have eventually driven to Manning to return her to her family. However, the child was unresponsive when she arrived.

The toddler was rushed to McLeod Health Clarendon Hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Dukes has since been charged with unlawful neglect of a child and denied bond. The Sumter County Coroner's Office has since notified Sumter Police and the State Law Enforcement Division.

Police said that as the investigation continues, charges could be upgraded pending toxicology results. However, these could take several weeks.