Further investigation and toxicology tests are needed to determine what caused the death of a Maryland child who was found dead in a park swing as his mother pushed him, authorities say. An autopsy has been completed on the 3-year-old boy, identified as Ji'Aire Lee, found Friday in La Plata, but the cause of death was still under investigation, Charles County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said yesterday. His 24-year-old mother was taken to a hospital Friday; Richardson said she remained hospitalized yesterday. Detectives are working to establish a timeline of the days before the boy's death, Richardson says. "There are no obvious signs of trauma," she says, though foul play hasn't been ruled out.
Vontasha Simms, who identified herself as the child's maternal grandmother, told WUSA-TV her daughter, Romechia Simms, had been diagnosed with a mental illness a few months ago and had been seeking help. Simms said her daughter ordinarily "would never harm my grandson in any type of way. You know, I just believe she had some type of mental illness, some type of mental break that came upon her where she wasn't able to get herself out of that situation." Police have not commented on whether mental illness played a role. Vontasha Simms says her daughter and grandson were homeless. (Read more mental illness stories.)