Woman Found Pushing Dead Son on Swing Indicted on Manslaughter Charges

The Maryland woman who was found pushing the body of her dead son on a playground swing this summer has been indicted on manslaughter and child abuse charges, The Washington Post reports.

24-year-old Romechia Simms was found at a park in La Plata, Md pushing the body of her 3-year-old son, Ji’Aire Donnell Lee. Ji’Aire was believed to have been dead for nearly two days before authorities arrived.
Ji’Aire died from hypothermia and dehydration. His death was ruled a homicide by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Romechia Simms was arrested Saturday and is being held on a $150,000 bond, according to authorities. Family members have said Simms suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. Her former boyfriend, James “Donnell” Lee, had filed for custody of their son in March.

“I feel like those are totally the wrong charges,” Vontasha Simms, Romechia's mother told The Washington Post. “I don’t understand how you’re going to charge someone who was mentally incompetent.”

She said her daughter sought help at inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment programs since Ji’Aire's death.

“This is uncaring and unfair,” she said of her daughter's indictment. “They knew she would never do anything harmful to him to cause his death.” Vontasha Simms has asked the public for help to cover her daughter's legal fees since she does not have the money to do so.
“She really is not a bad person,” Vontasha Simms said on Monday. “People with mental illnesses should not be having such a stigma placed against them.”

Photo: Courtesy of the family