CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)–Tonight, police in Charles County are still trying to determine what killed a toddler in La Plata.

Jessica Kartalija explains.

The child was discovered at a park–his mother pushing his lifeless body on the swings.

“She would never harm my grandson in any type of way,” said Vontasha Simms.

47-year-old Vontasha Simms says she wants to set the record straight.

Simms says her daughter Romechia was diagnosed with a mental illness three months ago and had been seeking help since, up until police discovered her with her son, 3-year-old Ji’aire, at a La Plata playground early Friday morning.

The child didn’t have any signs of trauma on his body.

The park is about a mile away from a hotel where the family is staying.

Simms tells WJZ they are homeless and that Romechia suffered from depression.

“I don’t want people to look down upon her. I want us to use the situation as an opportunity to grow, If you suffer from mental issues and you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to somebody,” Simms said.

Police aren’t saying whether mental illness is a factor.

Authorities say, “We don’t know the cause of death. They’re no obvious signs of trauma, but he is deceased and our detectives are working around the clock trying to put information together to answer the question as to how this child died.”

Investigators are still waiting on toxicology reports.


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