Courtesy of AP
Myrtle Beach, SC — Aaliyana McCoy was little more than 8 months old when police say she was beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend and buried in the woods in Socastee.
The tragic end of her young life that led to two homicide charges was revealed in affidavits and arrest warrants released Monday. The case began with a missing person’s report called in by a South Carolina Department of Social Services worker.
McCoy’s mother, LaDasha Keyana Harriett, 19, and Harriett’s 22-year-old boyfriend Daquan Jamal Simmons were each charged with homicide by child abuse after detectives recovered McCoy’s remains Saturday.
Police say Harriett was in charge of the care and custody of McCoy and placed her baby “at substantial risk” by allowing Simmons “to severely beat the infant child without interfering and not summoning help or seeking medical attention for the infant” at their home at 603 3rd Ave. S. in Myrtle Beach, according to an affidavit.
Police say Harriett admitted after her arrest “that she witnessed her infant baby pass away in their apartment” and then “placed the infant in a car seat” and allowed Simmons to leave with the deceased baby on July 15.
The next day, police say, Harriett went with Simmons to retrieve the deceased infant from where he originally left her body.
Simmons and Harriett then purchased a shovel and “buried the baby in the ground in a wooded area,” police noted in the affidavit. Police said they found the baby’s body off of Hague Drive in Socastee near the Intracoastal Waterway.
A DSS employee filed a report with Myrtle Beach police on Wednesday asking police to conduct a check on an “active DSS case.” Officers served a search warrant at the 3rd Avenue home on Thursday evening as part of the investigation.
Infant remains found on Saturday were identified as those of McCoy.
Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler said McCoy died on or about July 15; her remains were sent to medical examiners in Charleston to determine cause of death.
Simmons and Harriett were granted public defenders in an initial appearance by video conference in a Myrtle Beach courtroom Sunday afternoon. If convicted of the homicide charge, the two face sentences of 20 years to life in prison.
Simmons has faced numerous changes in the past, including an arrest in 2014 for neglect by a legal custodian. He has also served sentences for strong armed robbery, burglary, resisting arrest and several other charges dating back to 2012.
Last year, Simmons was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is still facing that charge in an Horry County court.
Harriett has had no prior charges in the state of South Carolina.