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Parents charged after toddler dies of dehydration

A Wake Forest couple was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of their 17-month-old son, who authorities believe died of dehydration when left alone in a heated room.

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Kristin Wills
WAKE FOREST, N.C. — A Wake Forest couple was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of their 17-month-old son, who authorities believe died of dehydration when left alone in a heated room.

Shandu Slaughter, 28, and Kristin Ann Wills, 21, both of 839 N. Franklin St., were charged with involuntary manslaughter. They were placed in the Wake County jail under separate $1 million secured bonds.

Police said that Slaughter put his son, Marcus Isaiah Wills, down for a nap around 2 p.m. on March 20. The toddler was unresponsive when Wills checked on him around 9 p.m.

The medical examiner who conducted an autopsy determined that Marcus had been left unattended in a heated room. Investigators who re-created the scenario found the temperature in the room would have been 97 degrees, the autopsy report states.

It reached 78 degrees in Raleigh that day, according to National Weather Service records.

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