Police: Mother of dead toddler smoked pot before calling 911

Amber Lynn Bracci

SUMMERVILLE — Amber Lynn Bracci admitted having struck her 16-month-old son, Rowan, in the head within days before he died of a head injury, according to an arrest affidavit released today.

Bracci, 19, of Ridgeville, also told investigators she smoked marijuana two times between the time she first noticed her son was in distress and the time she finally called 911 and sought medical attention for him, the affidavit says.

Dorchester County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at 198 Rowan Drive in Ridgeville on Jan. 6. The boy was taken by Dorchester County EMS to Trident Regional Medical Center. After evaluation, he was rushed to Medical University Hospital. He was bleeding in his eyes and brain, according to an incident report.

Rowan died Jan. 8. An autopsy ruled the death a homicide. It determined Rowan died of a closed head injury at the hands of another person. The boy had bruising of the scalp, hemorrhaging and brain swelling, according to the county coroner.

Investigators charged his mother with homicide by child abuse on Thursday.

Bracci told Magistrate Arthur Bryngelson during a bond hearing today that she was not guilty in her son’s death.

She is being held without bail at the Dorchester County Detention Center until she can appear before a circuit judge.

Investigators say the child was in his mother’s care at the time he suffered the injuries and that she failed to get him immediate care.

Deputies say the case remains under investigation.