Woman charged with homicide after son, 3, left in hot car
By RICK BRUNDRETT
A 3-year-old boy died Sunday after being left for five hours in a vehicle outside Blockbuster Video on Decker Boulevard while his mother worked, Richland County authorities said.
Dominic Moody died of cardiac arrest resulting from overheating, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said today. An autopsy was conducted this morning.
The boy’s mother, Olivia Rozier, 32, was arrested and charged Sunday night with homicide by child abuse, Richland County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Chris Cowan said today.
“A poor decision led to the unnecessary death of this child,” Cowan said.
Rozier, a part-time Blockbuster worker and a full-time county public works employee, told authorities she left her son in the vehicle because she couldn’t find a babysitter, Cowan said. She went to work at the video store about 12:15 p.m. Sunday and left a short time after 5 p.m., he said.
Rozier didn’t check on her son while she was working, Cowan said. Dominic was wearing long pants, a shirt and a sweater, Watts said, noting the boy was “dressed for cooler weather.”
Watts said that although the mother had cracked a window in her vehicle, “you could easily exceed 100 degrees” inside. The make and model of the vehicle were not immediately available.
Rozier told authorities that after discovering her son was unresponsive, she panicked and drove around for about 20 minutes before stopping at a Hunt Club Road home near the video store and calling 911, Watts said. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.