According to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, the badly injured child, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead in the emergency room at Nash UNC Healthcare in Rocky Mount.
Officials initially thought the child was 13 but later determined she was years younger.
Investigators said an incident involving the child occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 at a home in Nashville, North Carolina.
According to investigators, six children and two adults, including the grandmother, Patricia Ann Ricks, 72, lived at the residence and some of the minors were present when the girl allegedly was beaten.
One of the other children present at the time called 911, telling the call center that Ricks, who was the legal guardian of the minors, was driving the girl to the hospital, where she reportedly died before investigators arrived.
During the investigation, police said detectives determined the grandmother allegedly beat the child, who suffered “severe injuries throughout her entire body and head.”
Ricks was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse with severe injury.
Meanwhile, the other children in the house were all checked out by medical professionals and placed in the care of the Department of Social Services, officials said.
Officials did not disclose a possible motive for the killing but said investigators expect to learn more details once the autopsy report is completed.
Weapons were found inside the home. Deputies, however, did not elaborate on what type of weapons, if any, were ever used on the children.
Ricks was being held without bond at the Nash County Detention Center. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 9.
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