2 arrested for alleged sexual molestation, death
CHARGES/PHOTOS: Two people that the Sheriff called "animals" are in custody because a 2-year-old's body was found at 176 Country Lane, Clinton.
The toddler was dead, beaten and sexually molested, according to a charge by the Laurens County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Don Reynolds said, "These animals, who are possessed with pure evil, have no place in our society. There is no rehabilitation for people this evil. I'm sure God has a place for these broken individuals, as he does for these precious children."
Animal Control was called to take custody of two dogs - the mother dog with her puppy was guarding the dead child. "Fly high baby boy daddy will always love you," the child's father posted on Facebook. Another post said the child's name is Brantley.
"Unfortunately, I have had to work many homicide cases over the years, some of which involved children, however, this by far is the worst thing I've ever seen. This incident brought tears to the eyes of our investigators and what these individuals did to this child is unimaginable," Captain Robert Wilkie said.
The suspects are Jessica Blake Smith, the child's mother, and William Ryan Looper, her boyfriend, according to a report. The matter remains under investigation.
Early Saturday morning, deputies were dispatched to the residence and found a 2-year-old dead. The name of the dead child has not yet been released. A report said the child was beaten, injuries were visible all over its body, and a brutal sexual molestation had taken place before the child died.
Two other children - ages 6 and 7, have been hospitalized for examinations. Looper has been arrested previously for alleged break-ins. Reynolds said.
Looper has been charged with murder, criminal sexual conduct with a minor 1st degree, unlawful conduct toward a child, 2 counts. Smith has been charged with homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child, 2 counts.
MEMORIAL VIGIL TODAY AT SHERIFF'S OFFICE
The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Mr Jack Logan of Put Down Your Guns Young People, will be holding a memorial vigil for little Brantley Smith Sunday afternoon at 5:00. All are welcome to attend this event. Any who feel led to do so may bring age-appropriate toys for the two surviving male siblings ages 6 and 7.
UPDATE ON CHILD HOMICIDE
“These are the formal charges in reference to the child that was murdered this morning. I know someone will ask so I’ll go ahead and say this. More charges are possible depending on the direction of the investigation. Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers for these children and also our officers this morning.” - Sheriff Don Reynolds
William Ryan Looper
Murder (Warrant # 2018A3010200166)
Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor 1st Degree (Warrant # 2018A3010200167)
Unlawful conduct toward a child (Warrant # 2018A3010200169)
Unlawful conduct toward a child (Warrant # 2018A3010200168)
Jessica Blake Smith
Homicide by Child Abuse (2018A3010200172)
Unlawful conduct toward a child (Warrant # 2018A3010200170)
Unlawful conduct toward a child (Warrant # 2018A3010200171)