'It’s just saddening, tragic,’ Neighbors on Florence father arrested for allegedly killing his 9-month-old infant

'It’s just saddening, tragic,’ Neighbors on Florence father arrested for allegedly killing his 9-month-old infant

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A father is charged with the death of his 9-month-old child, according to Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

Nunn said that 36-year-old Bennett Jr. Grayson has been charged with homicide by child abuse after his infant was found not breathing on Saturday.

FCSO investigators say sometime around November 24, Grayson caused harm to the infant which lead to its death. They said that Grayson left the infant unattended for an unknown period of time after leaving the child with a bottle to feed itself.

Investigators said when Grayson returned, the child was not breathing.

“The ambulance and all the cars they were lined about 3 houses down all the way in front of our house,” next door neighbor Heather Thompson said. “They were coming in and out of the house taking pictures of the property.”

After the EMS arrived Thompson said she saw Grayson frantically come out house with other family members. She added the mother was not home at the time of the incident

“He seemed extremely upset. The little boys were crying. It was just saddening, tragic, especially after a holiday,” Thompson said.

However, Thompson said what’s even more disheartening to believe is that Grayson is charged with the child’s death. She said it’s because of the way she saw how Grayson treated the mother’s other children after moving in with the infant’s mother less than a year ago.

“Definitely an accident. I mean who would purposely do something like that. I couldn’t see Grayson doing something like that,” Thompson said. “He was very loving and supportive of those children and took time with them and they needed that guidance.”

Now with the family torn a part, Thompson said she’s hurting for them, especially the children.

“I’m praying for them. I know those little boys are sad and tore up because that was their baby sister and I just hope they’re ok,"Thompson said.

The investigation is ongoing and Florence County Coroner Keith Von Lutcken has ordered an autopsy.

This investigation is in the early stages and more information will be released as it becomes known.

Grayson is being held at the Florence County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing before a Circuit Court judge.

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