A Florida woman has been charged in the death of her infant son and authorities have found the boy’s body at a Greenville County landfill after a search began there Wednesday evening.
Vernita Lashon Jones, 25, of Clewiston, Florida, was charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of 6-month-old Anthony Frost, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. Jones is in custody at the Edgefield County jail.
The Johnston Police Department in South Carolina had requested an investigation by SLED after police learned a woman dumped a baby’s body in a dumpster over the weekend. That dumpster’s waste had been brought to the Twin Chimneys Landfill in Greenville County, said Thom Berry, a SLED spokesman.
An arrest warrant states that Jones admitted to law enforcement that she suffocated her child and had “an extreme indifference to human life.”
Jones was already being held in the Edgefield County jail on investigative detention before she was served with SLED’s arrest warrant Wednesday evening.
The Greenville County Coroner’s Office will work closely with SLED on the investigation. Crime scene agents will now begin an evidence collection process to see if additional evidence can be found near where the boy’s body was located, Berry said.
“We are certainly relieved that we have been able to recover this body which we believe to be that of 6-month-old Anthony Frost and can now return this infant to their family,” Berry said.
About 50 investigators and first responders were involved in the search at the top of the landfill, Berry said. The landfill’s records helped show investigators where the Johnston dumpster would have been dumped.
Authorities meticulously excavated the landfill and combed through single layers of waste in an attempt to locate the body, not knowing it would take less than four hours to find, Berry said.
The landfill sits on 1,155 acres of land located at 11075 Augusta Road in Honea Path, according to Greenville County’s website.
“This process began late Wednesday afternoon and continued until dark and resumed a little before 9 a.m. this morning. So to be able to recovery the body literally within a couple of hours is certainly welcoming for us because of the fat that we were able to find the body so quickly and be able to continue to investigation,” Berry said.
Berry said Jones has had multiple interviews with law enforcement while in custody.
It was not immediately known how long Jones had been in South Carolina.
“She had come to South Carolina recently. We are still in the process of determining whether it was just for a visit or if it was a plan for a longer stay,” Berry said.
“These are people that are trained and they deal with child deaths. I’ll tell you, there’s a special place in heaven for these people,” Berry said. “Just imagine what they have to deal with.”