Police: 6-week-old infant found in hotel room died of shaken baby syndrome

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – An autopsy of a 6-week-old infant found in a hotel room revealed the baby died of injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, according to police.

The infant was found in a Myrtle Beach hotel room with cocaine and four other children, police said. The child died Tuesday, according to Horry County Coroner Robert Edge.

Two adults are facing charges of unlawful neglect of child and possession of cocaine, according to warrants. Charges for one of the adults has been upgraded to homicide by child abuse.

Laquena Lanishia Bostic and Geames Kena Ratliff were charged after Myrtle Beach police officers responded to a call about an unresponsive infant at the Camelot Hotel at 2000 N. Ocean Boulevard on Sunday.

Ratcliff’s charges have been upgraded to Homicide by Child Abuse. Those charges were upgraded Wednesday. Ratcliff is 37, from Rockingham, NC. He is also charged with five counts of unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person by legal custodian and possession of cocaine. He was booked around 12:25 a.m. Tuesday and remain in the center as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

While conducting a search of the room, a “white powdery substance was found in the room within close proximity to the victim child’s bottle,” police said. A field test revealed the substance was positive “for the presence of cocaine,” warrants said. The child was in critical condition at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center at the time the warrants were issued.

According to warrants, there were four other children in the hotel room at the time.

Bostic has been charged with five counts of unlawful neglect of child or helpless person and possession of cocaine, according to warrants. She was released on a $30,000 bond, $5,000 for each charge.

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