National News

Orange County mom charged with drowning infant; family says she loved boy

Posted July 19, 2016 1:25 p.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2016 6:13 p.m. EDT

— The family of a woman charged with murder after her 6-week-old son drowned in a pond at a Myrtle Beach outlet mall said she was overwhelmed by the challenges of returning to work as a first-time mom and dealing with an abusive boyfriend.

Jameisha Alexander was seen holding her son, King, near the pond Saturday night by someone who called security. By the time officers arrived, Alexander was gone and the baby was in the water, according to her arrest warrant.

Paramedics tried CPR but the boy died a short time later. Alexander was taken into custody two hours later after being involved in a wreck about 20 miles away, according to a police report.

Alexander, 24, was jailed on a murder charge pending a Tuesday court hearing. The report was partly redacted and police wouldn't discuss why they think she killed her son.

But Alexander's family said she was having a rough time, and while joyous, her son's birth made things tougher.

"She loved that baby with everything she had in her. I think she felt like she just couldn't do it herself," Alexander's mother, Sandra Jones, told The Associated Press by phone from the family's home in Carrboro.

Alexander had taken maternity leave from her job at McDonald's to recover from her cesarean section, and was nervous about returning to work, Jones said.

Jones said her daughter was intensely private and proud, pushing away offers to watch the baby or to get her other help. Jones said she discovered only after her daughter's arrest that Alexander was being seen for depression before and after giving birth.

WRAL spoke with Alexander's grandmother, Melba Jones, who also said her granddaughter loved the baby.

"It is really hard to understand it," Melba Jones said. "Nobody knew what she was going through. We were right here to help her if she has just asked us for help."

Alexander hoped her boyfriend of a year-and-a-half would be more supportive after she got pregnant, but instead he moved her to a filthy home 20 miles from her family and went back to doing drugs and abusing her, Sandra Jones said.

Melba Jones said she did not understand why this happened.

"She just snapped," she said. "We do not know how a person feels in that situation. It's so sad though."