SPARTANBURG (WYFF) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol and state law enforcement are involved in an investigation regarding the death of a 1-year-old, according to Spartanburg Coroner Rusty Clevenger.
Clevenger tells WYFF News 4 that his department was dispatched to I-85 North last night after being notified about a crash at 10:50 p.m. Friday.
According to SCHP Trooper Kelley Hughes, at approximately 10:20 Friday night a trooper initiated a traffic stop for speeding along Highway 14 in Greenville. Hughes said a vehicle failed to stop and entered highway I-85 Northbound. That's when Hughes said the trooper noticed smoke and sparks coming from beneath the vehicle. The smoke intensified and the sparks turned into flames. That's when troopers observed a large bag being thrown from the vehicle.
Shortly after the suspect's vehicle became fully engulfed in flames, Hughes said the suspect driver got out of the car and fled on foot. Once the fire was extinguished troopers discovered the body of a child in the back of the vehicle and SLED was called to investigate.
The child has been identified as 1-year-old Xena Rah'Lah Norman of Spartanburg, Clevenger said.
A Spartanburg County K-9 unit was called to look for the driver, according to Hughes. The bag thrown from the vehicle was recovered and contained illegal drugs.
Officials say the suspect is identified as 26-year-old Imhotep Osiris Norman from Spartanburg. Norman is charged with homicide by child abuse, he was denied bond in court Saturday. Officials in court said other charges are pending against Norman.
Stay with WYFF News 4 as this story develops.