Father released from jail after death of infant in Ladson
Charleston County investigators continue to look for evidence that might tell them how a Ladson infant died this week.
Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said this afternoon that deputies are working closely with the county coroner’s office on the case and re-examining the death of another infant from the same mother two years ago.
But autopsies of both children failed to produce a cause or manner of death, leaving investigators without probable cause to say a crime occurred, Brady said.
The father of an infant boy who died this week released from jail Thursday evening.
Todd Stephen Melvin, 28, posted a $150,000 bail that a magistrate set during a hearing earlier Thursday.
Angel Richardson, the mother of 2-month-old Kayden Melvin and Todd Melvin’s girlfriend, remains jailed in lieu of a $250,000 bail.
Richardson, 21, and Melvin each face a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.
Affidavits depicted the filthy conditions that deputies encountered when they entered the Outwood Drive home where Kayden lived. The “deplorable” interior contained feces and flying insects, the affidavits stated. Cockroaches were crawling in Kayden’s crib.
On Wednesday morning, Kayden was in “full cardiac arrest” when he was taken to a hospital. He soon was pronounced dead.
During an autopsy Thursday, experts found several insect bites on his body, but they could not immediately determine how the boy died. Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said further testing might shed light on the cause.
Kayden was the second infant of Richardson’s to die in the past two years.
In June 2010, her 4-month-old girl, Mariah Benjamin, was found in her crib “cold and stiff,” with foam near her mouth, according to an incident report obtained today.
In that case, Richardson’s father, Brian Allen Richardson, had entered the house and looked at the baby, who was in her crib in the living room. Instead of checking on the child, he sat down and started watching television.
Melvin then entered the home. He first went to his room, then checked on the baby, who was unresponsive.
Richardson told investigators that she had placed Mariah in the crib with a bottle. But police reports do not indicate where she was when Melvin realized something was wrong.
An autopsy also failed to determine how Mariah died.
Wooten said two infant deaths in the same house would prompt investigators to consider possible environmental and hereditary factors.
In addition to the deaths, another infant, a 6-week-old boy, was severely burned in the home in April 2009. Richardson, her father and her boyfriend at the time, Alexander Perry, were arrested after responding deputies found marijuana plants growing in the house at 4537 Outwood Drive.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.