RIDGEVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Deputies say a mother who has been charged with homicide by child abuse hit her child a couple of days before finding the 16-month-old unresponsive.
Amber Lynn Bracci, 19, of Ridgeville was arrested and charged Thursday in the death of her child, 16-month-old Rowan Bracci. If she is found guilty she will face 20 years to life in prison.
According to a court affidavit, Amber Bracci admitted to smoking pot two times after she realized Rowan was unresponsive and before she called for help. Bracci was denied bond at a hearing Friday morning.
The Dorchester County Sheriff's department has been investigating the death of Rowan Bracci since last weekend. The Sheriff's Office held a press conference in Summerville Thursday to announce the charges.
Earlier this week, before Amber Bracci was arrested on homicide by child abuse charges, she came to Live 5 to tell her story.
"I went in there and picked my son up out of bed at 10:30 in the morning and he was limp," Bracci said. "His eyes were closed and he was not responsive."
Bracci then called EMS and two days later, her son Rowan died at MUSC.
His retinas were detached with severe hemorrhaging behind the eyes. Doctors couldn't count the amount of vessels. The doctor also said there had been signs of abuse days prior to this incident.
"I loved my son with all my heart," Bracci said. "I may not have been a perfect mother. There are things that I regret."
The Dorchester County Coroner's Office said Thursday that the baby died as a result of homicide after sustaining a closed head injury at the hands of another person or persons. Preliminary autopsy results were released Thursday morning.
According to Major John Garrison with the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, EMS took the 15-month-old Rowan Bracci to North Trident Hospital. After evaluating the Bracci, he was transferred to MUSC and listed in critical condition.
The child's condition was determined to have resulted from trauma to the head. Bracci died Saturday at MUSC. An autopsy was performed and it was revealed that the child died as a direct result of head trauma.
The Coroner's Office said Thursday that preliminary autopsy results show that the infant died from a closed head injury. The head injury caused multiple subgaleal contusions of the scalp, bilateral subdural hemorrhages, a thin-layerd subarachnoid hemorrhage, brain swelling and bilateral optic nerve sheath hemorrhage, the coroner said.
The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, the Coroner's Office, Charleston Police and MUSC are also involved in the investigation. Currently, no arrests have been made.