An Alabama day care worker is facing manslaughter and corpse abuse charges after authorities say a 5-year-old boy in her charge was found dead in a driveway this week.
The body of Kamden Johnson was discovered in the driveway of a Mobile home on Monday.
That evening, Valarie Rena Patterson, a worker at the day care, turned herself in to police.
"She came in on her own accord and spoke with our officers and subsequently she was later charged," Mobile Chief of Police Lawrence Battiste told reporters. "She was somewhat cooperative."
Battiste said Patterson is an employee of Community Nursery & Preschool Academy, which is a little more than two and a half miles away from where the boy's body was found.
According to AL.com, court documents reveal Patterson, 46, stands accused of having first left Kamden in the van she drove for the day care center.
"There were some things that led us to believe that she had some involvement with the child and that most likely would have come through the day care," said Battiste.
Kamden's cause of death is not yet clear. Battiste said a preliminary autopsy on the child's body determined there were no signs of physical trauma.
Battiste said Patterson is the primary suspect in Kamden's death, but the investigation is ongoing.
Through their attorney, Kamden's family released the following statement:
"As you can imagine, our family is simply devastated. There are really no words that can describe or express the loss that we have suffered. In this difficult time, we want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love that you have shown us and ask that you keep us firmly in your prayers, as you allow us our time to grieve in private."