SLED Wants $475,000 for Child Death Investigators - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

SLED Wants $475,000 for Child Death Investigators

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is asking state lawmakers for an additional $475,000 in next year's budget to hire four more investigators to look into suspicious deaths of children. The agency has a backlog of more than 450 cases.

"The further the review takes place by SLED from the actual event, the harder it is to make a case," says Laura Hudson, a member of the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee. "If all of the evidence has been destroyed or so much time has lapsed, then you have a problem there."

SLED gets on average 195 suspicious death cases a year of children 17 and younger. Anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of them end up being homicides, Hudson says, with the rest being accidents, suicides, or undetermined.

SLED Chief Mark Keel says a good example of the importance of SLED's Child Fatality Unit is the case of three-year-old Edna Hunt. She died in a Marlboro County hospital in 2011. The official cause of death was sepsis from a urinary tract infection. That could have been the end of the story, but investigators found a long history of physical and sexual abuse.

Edna's mother, Atelia Hunt, pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child and was sentenced to 20 years. She also testified in the trial against her live-in boyfriend, Alexander Carmichael Huckabee III. He was found guilty of four counts, including homicide by child abuse and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, and was sentenced to two life sentences plus 20 years.

It will be up to state lawmakers to decide whether SLED will get the money for the additional investigators. They go back into session in January.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:48:25 GMT
    James SiebenthalJames Siebenthal
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • Update: Police Identify Man Killed in Single ATV Crash

    Update: Police Identify Man Killed in Single ATV Crash

    A man was killed this afternoon in an ATV accident on Hillary Lane in Walthourville in Liberty County. The man struck a tree and was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred shortly after 6:30 pm
    A man was killed this afternoon in an ATV accident on Hillary Lane in Walthourville in Liberty County. The man struck a tree and was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred shortly after 6:30 pm
  • Shooting at Waters Ave. and 38th Street in Savannah

    Shooting at Waters Ave. and 38th Street in Savannah

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:43 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:43:34 GMT
    Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police have the area of Waters Ave and 38th Street cornered off with crime scene tape. Around 12:45 p.m. police were called to the scene where they found a man in the street shot. The SCMPD Spokesman, Julian Miller, said the victim was in a white sedan when shots were fired from another car striking him. The white sedan came to a stop in a yard. The man was taken to the hospital. The victim's name has not been released yet or his condition. Police do not have a...
    Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police have the area of Waters Ave and 38th Street cornered off with crime scene tape. Around 12:45 p.m. police were called to the scene where they found a man in the street shot. The SCMPD Spokesman, Julian Miller, said the victim was in a white sedan when shots were fired from another car striking him. The white sedan came to a stop in a yard. The man was taken to the hospital. The victim's name has not been released yet or his condition. Police do not have a...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.