An Illinois woman accused of bringing the body of her 6-year-old son onto a commuter train to Chicago last summer has been charged with the child’s murder, officials said.
Jamie Jones, 29, was charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide in the death of Carl Rice Jr., Round Lake Beach police said.
“This was a horrific crime involving the death of an innocent child who was beaten to death at the hands of his own mother,” Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Scheller told a Lake County judge on Tuesday.
Scheller said an autopsy showed the little boy was bruised from his face and head to his torso and had also suffered a brain hemorrhage, The Associated Press reported.
Jones injured Carl before he fell asleep on June 30, Scheller said, noting the boy died between June 30 and July 1.
Jones took a cab with her dead son and her 9-year-old daughter to the Round Beach Metra station in Lake County, where surveillance footage apparently showed her carrying a child who appeared stiff.
She and her children rode the train to Union Station in Chicago, where her father picked them up.
While at her parents’ home, Jones allegedly told her mother that something appeared to be wrong with her son.
Jones’ mother called 911, authorities said.
Emergency responders determined Carl was dead and the Cook County Medical Examiner found his body was past the stage of rigor mortis and probably died six to eight hours before an initial examination, The Chicago Tribune reported.
On Friday, the Medical Examiner ruled Carl’s death a homicide due to multiple injuries from child abuse.
Jones was arrested Saturday on a separate Lake County warrant for failing to appear for a battery charge, officials said. She was then held on pending charges in the death of her son, police said.
Carl’s older sister is currently living at a relative’s house and is under supervision by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.
Jones often posted on social media about her children, sharing how much she loved her daughter and son, whom she and others affectionately referred to as “Chum.”
“When I’m with them it’s not a care in the world,” Jones wrote in a post on Facebook that included a photo of the kids. “My two favorite.”
Jones’ sister took to social media to come to her defense, sharing a photo of her nephew and writing Wednesday: “He sooooo happy … he was [6 years old] with a dirt bike he loved that bike … y’all see that face kids that smile like that don’t get beat.”
Prosecutors said Jones initially told investigators she hit her son several times before his death, The AP reported.