Dad, girlfriend charged in toddler's death

2010-07-09T00:21:00Z 2012-12-12T09:50:28Z Dad, girlfriend charged in toddler's deathBy RICHARD WALKER, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat
July 09, 2010 12:21 am  • 

MONCKS CORNER - The wait is over. The concrete-filled trash can discovered in Orangeburg County was chipped apart Thursday. The remains of a small boy were found inside.

"We opened up the can, the trash can, and they were able to forensically remove the cement," said Dan Moon, Berkeley County Sheriff's Office spokesman. "They found the remains of a young African-American male."

That young male is believed to be 2-year-old Rodricus Fred Williams, who was the center of an extensive search earlier this week.

Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt said investigators have charged 29-year-old Roger Williams, and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Grace Nichole Trotman, with homicide by child abuse. Williams is the child's father.

Investigators say a DNA test will be done to confirm the identity of the child found in the trash can. The testing could take up to a week.

Forensic analysts found small braids on the child's head. The toddler was described as having small twists in his hair.

Based on the condition of the remains, investigators believe the toddler had been dead for some time prior to the discovery of the trash can.

"It was definitely more than a few days ago," Moon said.

Rodricus had been admitted to a Charleston hospital several times, and DeWitt said he had been beaten before.

"During interviews, there was some talk about the child being struck on occasions," DeWitt said. "Our interpretation is, it was not by accident."

Police said Williams demanded earlier this week that his girlfriend not seek treatment for the toddler when she called and told him he needed medical attention.

Officers were serving the hospital with search warrants to get information on the boy's treatment. His cause of death has not been released.

Authorities allege Rodricus was killed at a Berkeley County home. His death was brought to light only after an unexpected visit by his mother.

"Of course, the child was not produced at that time, and that's when the child was reported missing," DeWitt said.

Investigators believe that on Tuesday, Roger Williams and his girlfriend concocted a story of the toddler falling in the water at The Battery in Charleston.

An extensive land and water search turned up nothing. Williams was taken into custody.

According to a Charleston Police affidavit, "Trotman admitted to FBI Special Agent McCants that she made up the missing child story to cover up an incident in which great bodily harm to the child occurred."

She has been charged with filing a false police report and her bond was set at $250,000. A judge denied bond Thursday on the more serious charges against Trotman and Williams.

DeWitt said Trotman was cooperating with investigators. However, Williams refused to answer questions, he said.

Investigators say information gained during the interviews with Williams and Trotman prompted Berkeley and Orangeburg county investigators to converge on a rural Landsdowne Road residence about seven miles east of Bowman.

Around 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, Berkeley County officers entered a brushy wooded area behind a vacant manufactured home and about 100 feet from the road.

They found the trash can, but the weight of the concrete prevented officers from removing it immediately. A farmer with a backhoe was asked to lift the bin into an Orangeburg County truck.

The bin was then taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston where its contents were analyzed Thursday.

DeWitt said the remains were covered in plastic trash bags prior to the concrete being placed in the trash can.

Contact the writer: rwalker@timesandemocrat.com or 803-533-5516. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. FolkDL
    Report Abuse
    FolkDL - July 13, 2010 6:57 am
    I am at a loss for words. How can anyone hurt a child? A loving, innocent baby. I hope they spend the rest of their lives in prison and their eternity in Hell.

    RIP precious little one.
  2. 7734
    Report Abuse
    7734 - July 11, 2010 8:33 am
    THEY DON'T DESERVE TO LIVE. THEY SHOULD GET JUST WHAT THEY DONE TO THAT BABY. HOPE THEY GO STRAIGHT TO H--L!
  3. dimples
    Report Abuse
    dimples - July 10, 2010 9:07 pm
    I hate to say this but I would love to put the two of them somewhere and pour cement on them while they are alive, so that they can suffer the way that poor baby did. How can anyone be so cruel and heartless.
  4. bjgoldilock
    Report Abuse
    bjgoldilock - July 09, 2010 5:14 pm
    I was truly sadden by this tragedy. My little nephew is almostthis baby's age. It saddens me to think of any baby going threw whatever torment this baby endured. I hope and pray justice will prevail. I sure this couple will get what is coming to them. I hope they get what is coming to them. Rest on little one, Rest in God's raft.
  5. ANNUAL
    Report Abuse
    ANNUAL - July 09, 2010 10:38 am
    bypass a trail and break out the guillotine for both of these animals.
  6. jdj2055
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    jdj2055 - July 09, 2010 7:53 am
    If there ever was a case that deserved the death penalty this is it. How could a father discard their child like he was a piece of trash. I hope the solicitor goes after this guy with the harshest charges and punishment available. I'd be happy to volunteer my time to sit on this jury.
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