Sheriff: Toddler dies after receiving bear hug from family friend

Sheriff: Toddler dies after receiving bear hug from family friend

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said his department has arrested a 26-year-old man accused of giving a 14-month-old child a bear hug which resulted in the toddler's death.

Deputies arrested Robert Christian Kemp of Columbia on Tuesday and charged him with involuntary manslaughter. The sheriff's office says Kemp is a family friend of the victim.

"We were called to a residence on Maxwell Place on June 27 in reference to an unresponsive child," Sheriff Ravenell said."Our initial investigation indicated the child was placed in his crib by a resident in the house to take a nap. The 14-month-old was discovered by that same household resident to be unresponsive and CPR was performed."

According to investigators, Kemp gave the victim a bear hug, squeezing the victim so tight that the child stopped breathing and as a result caused the toddler's death. Authorities say the child had been left in the care of Kemp at the time of the incident.

A report states that after the collection of forensic evidence and further investigation, it was determined the child died as a result of asphyxiation.

Orangeburg Magistrate Peggy Doremus set bond on Kemp at $10,000 Wednesday morning.

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