Local News

Man Accused of Killing Girlfriend's 2-Year-Old Daughter

Posted July 6, 2007 6:26 p.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2007 10:58 p.m. EDT

— Those who knew Antonio Byrd said they were shocked to hear that he was accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Byrd, 24, of Spring Lake, about 5:30 p.m. Friday and charged him with first-degree murder in the death of Miracle McLean.

Byrd - who was the live-in boyfriend of Miracle's mother, Sheteka McDougald - rushed the child’s lifeless body to the Anderson Creek Fire Department station Monday, authorities said.

He claimed she drowned, officials said, but autopsy reports later revealed the girl died of blunt force trauma. Miracle was in cardiac arrest when she arrived at the fire station, officials said, and doctors at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg pronounced her dead after emergency medical workers took her there.

Family members said Byrd dated McLean's mother for about a year and a half. Miracle’s cousin, Katurah McDougald, said she wants to know what happened.

“It’s still a shock, because I never thought he would do anything like this. So we’re still like, is this really happening?’” Katurah said. “It brings more questions, because now the question is: ‘Why? What made you do it?’”

Investigators have said very little about the case, but they did say McDougald and Byrd cooperated with their investigation.

Byrd was held Friday afternoon at the Harnett County Detention Center.

Miracle's 3-year-old sister, Zahane, is in foster care, relatives said.

“[Byrd] came in the house and like, took over, bought the kids stuff and everything,” Katurah said. “We thought he was a good person to the kids until now. My question right now is why, if he did it, ‘Why did you do it? What made you do something to a child that couldn’t do nothing to you?’”