Deputies charge man for homicide by child abuse of 7-week-old baby

An Oconee County man accused of causing the death of an infant is now facing a homicide by child abuse charge.
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 2:41 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:10 PM EST
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SENECA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said a couple is facing charges after the death of a 7-week-old infant on Monday.

A 911 call was placed from an apartment complex on Keoway Drive reporting a baby in possible cardiac arrest.

EMS found the baby boy, Theodore “Theo” Sage Raynor, unresponsive. He was transported to the hospital but died a short time later.

An autopsy conducted Wednesday morning revealed that Raynor died from blunt-force head trauma, and his death was classified as a homicide, according to the coroner.

The incident report says the baby’s parents told investigators he was fine when they laid him down to sleep but was later found unresponsive.

Deputies said they found narcotics while executing a search warrant at the home, including cocaine and MDMA.

They arrested Michael Blackwell Jr. and Sheila Raynor, who are charged with child neglect, possession of cocaine, possession of a schedule 1 narcotic and possession of a controlled substance.

On Thursday investigators determined Theo suffered abuse at the hands of Blackwell, who is accused of showing an “extreme indifference to human life.” Blackwell was served with an additional warrant for homicide by child abuse.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Child Death Task Force has been asked to assist with the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-4111.