Autopsy for 4-year-old killed in Greenville County leaves unanswered questions
Coroner confirms baby brother died in hot car in 2018
PELZER, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Greenville County officials say the search for a young girl ended in a tragic discovery on Tuesday afternoon and deputies said they have charged her half-brother with murder.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was called to a report of a missing 4-year-old girl, Joanna Lockaby, on Chevy Chase Boulevard just before 2:30 p.m.
Deputies arrived on the scene within approximately 10 minutes of receiving the call, according to Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis. After deputies talked to the family and got a description of Joanna, they started a search.
Investigators found the girl’s body in a plastic bin in a wooded area behind a home a short time later.
While deputies say they believe Joanna Lockaby was suffocated, after an autopsy on Thursday the Greenville County Coroner’s Office her cause and manner of death are still pending investigation and were not immediately available.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office arrested 17-year-old William Micah Hester on Wednesday in connection with Joanna Lockaby’s death.
According to the arrest warrant, Hester is charged with kidnapping after he confined the girl in a container that she was unable to escape.
He appeared in bond court Wednesday afternoon where he was denied bond. He will be held in the Greenville County Detention Center until he is transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The motive for the killing is unknown.
The Greenville County Coroner’s Office confirmed Joanna Lockaby was the sister of Joe Lockaby, a 1-year-old boy who died in Greenville County in 2018.
According to investigators, Joe Lockaby was left in a hot car parked outside his grandmother’s home on Rogers Avenue.
Janik Nix, the boy’s grandmother, was initially charged with homicide by child abuse. She pleaded guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison suspended to three years of probation.
Stay with FOX Carolina for updates on this developing story.
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