Local News

Pair charged in child's death

Posted September 9, 2009 3:43 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2009 4:55 p.m. EDT

— A mother and her boyfriend are charged in the death of the woman’s 4-year-old child and the serious injury of her 7-year-old child, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.

Sarah Eddington, 26, and John Croom, 32, both of 174 Bienville Drive in Fayetteville, are charged with two counts each of felony child abuse inflecting serious injury.

The charges stem from a July 12 incident where the couple placed the two children in the back of a Suzuki Samurai on a makeshift bench without restraints.

They drove about two miles into a wooded area off of Slocomb Road. Police said they intended to four-wheel along an embankment when Croom lost control of the vehicle and it flipped backwards several times. All of the passengers were ejected.

The 4-year-old child suffered head injuries and died at the scene. Her 7-year-old sister suffered multiple injuries and was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for treatment. She has since recovered and is being cared for by family members.

Eddington and Croom were each released for the Cumberland County Detention Center under $5,000 unsecured bond.

Their first court appearances are on Thursday.