A South Carolina mother says her dead 6-year-old son was hyperactive, so she gave him enough Benadryl that authorities said could kill a man, authorities said Friday, announcing criminal charges against the mother and her husband in the tragic death.
The case began on Oct. 30, when deputies responded to a home in Greer, South Carolina, to assist paramedics with a boy, only identified by his first name, Aydon, who was unresponsive at a home in Greer, South Carolina, according to a news release from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Sarah Elizabeth Stewart, 32, is charged with homicide by child abuse and unlawful child neglect. Christopher Allen Stewart, 48, is charged with unlawful neglect of a child, officials said.
Greer is 90 miles west across the border from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Officials said the boy’s parents told paramedics and law enforcement that he fell out of a recliner, hit his head on a hard floor, and suffered a seizure.
Before taking him to the hospital, paramedics told deputies his prognosis was grim. He died at a hospital later that day, authorities said.
An autopsy found bruises in various stages of healing, and toxicology results showed the boy died from an overdose of Benadryl, so much so that it could have killed a man, officials said.
The boy had been living in filthy conditions, officials said, without elaborating. Deputies also learned that child abuse referrals had been made to the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
It was unclear what the referrals were, when they were made, and how they were handled.
An email seeking comment from the South Carolina Department of Social Services was not immediately returned.
The mother admitted to giving her son Benadryl because he was hyperactive, authorities said.
“It was determined that probable cause existed to charge both parents with the death of their child,” officials said.
Fox Carolina reported that the mother was denied bond while the husband was granted a bond of $10,000.
The station said the child’s biological mother signed over guardianship to Christopher Stewart while she was serving federal prison time in West Virginia. Details about her criminal case, her relationship with Christopher Stewart, and why she would give him guardianship were unclear.
An email to the sheriff’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]