June 27, 2003

Infant found dead in minivan in Tupelo

The Associated Press

TUPELO Authorities were waiting Thursday for the results of an autopsy performed on an 8-month-old boy who was found dead in a minivan at a hospital parking garage in Tupelo.

Lee County Coroner Roy Barnett said the body of Daniel H. Hamrick was discovered by the infant's mother about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Police were unable to say how long the child had been in the vehicle.

"Right now we don't know a whole lot," Tupelo Police Detective Jerry Davis said about the case. "A lot of people are going to be questioned ... . We hope it was just an accident."

The police detective said the child's mother, whose name was not released, is an employee at the North Mississippi Medical Center.

He said hospital officials had alerted police.

The Coroner said that officials hoped the autopsy, which was performed in Jackson, would answer questions about the cause of the 8-month-old's death.

No charges have been filed.

"It's under investigation," Davis said. He said getting information had been difficult because both parents were "pretty distraught at the time."


Tupelo man indicted in connection with June death of 8-month-old son


A Lee county grand jury has indicted a Tupelo man in connection with the June death of his 8-month-old son.

46-year-old John "Jody" Hamrick faces one count of manslaughter by culpable negligence in the death of Daniel H. Hamrick.

The indictment says Hamrick left his son strapped inside the family van for seven hours in the midday heat.

Tupelo police say Hamrick left the family home on June 25th to drop Daniel and another child off at seperate daycares.

Police say Hamrick dropped the first child off, but returned home leaving the infant inside the van.

That afternoon the child's mother, unaware the infant was in the child seat, then drove the van to her job at the North Mississippi Medical Canter in Tupelo.

The dead child wasn't found until another relative went to the child's daycare to pick him up only to discover the child was missing.

That's when the van was checked at the hospital and the child found dead inside.

Hamrick is free on a 10-thousand-dollar bond.