A Fort Stewart soldier and his wife have been arrested for the death of a toddler, killed just days before her second birthday.
According to Hinesville Police Department Detective Captain Tracey Howard, Amir Camp and Cynthia Camp have been charged with the murder of the toddler, Serenity Belue. Howard says there was probable cause to charge both with malice murder.
Authorities say Cynthia Camp is her biological mother and Amir Camp is her stepfather. Fort Stewart officials say Camp is a specialist that has been assigned there since May 2017.
Hinesville Police officers were called to a home on Robin Hood Drive Friday, March 8, in reference to an unresponsive child. The officers requested emergency medical personnel to the scene who determined the toddler was deceased.
We spoke to a next-door neighbor, who did not want to be identified. She says she didn’t believe the mother’s cry for help.
“She just came outside just screaming for help and I kept asking what was wrong, and she kept saying, my baby, my baby. And she was like my baby suffocated call 911. She just kept screaming,“ the neighbor said.
She says she and the other next-door neighbor quickly sprung into action when they saw Cynthia in need of help.
“He went in there to try to help her but I mean when he came out he just kind of stood there puzzled like he was confused to what was going on. And I was about to go over there and help. When I ran over there to help he just gave me this look like there no use of going in there,“ she said.
The neighbor revealed, Camp is a mother of four. Serenity is her third child. She says her children often interacted with Camp.
She tells News 3 she’ll never forget the mother’s reaction after discovering her child was dead. “She was hysterical for about 2 or 3 minutes and other that she was just calmed all the way down as if nothing was going on. As a parent, I knew something was wrong right there.”
Hinesville Chief of Police, Bill Kirkendall, said an autopsy was performed on March 11. The results pointed to a homicide.
According to Captain Howard, Serenity would have turned 2 years old on the day her autopsy was performed. “Hear about the death of a child, it naturally just has a personal impact and children aren’t supposed to die,“ Howard said.
Both Amir and Cynthia Camp turned themselves at Fort Stewart. They are currently being detained at the Liberty County Jail In Hinesville, bond has been denied.
The other three children are with family. “I know that all the family members and people involved with this family are grieving,“ Captain Howard said.
And everyone in the community is wrapping their arms around their children.
“As a mother, always keep your kids close no matter what, and the reaction that she gave it didn’t sit right with me, period,“ the neighbor said.
Contributions to this report by Lewis Levine, Coastal News Service