Father, girlfriend arrested after 14-month-old killed in gruesome child abuse case

Ramesha Brantley, left, and De'Yontae Miller Sr. (Courtesy Lancaster County Sheriff's Office)

LANCASTER, S.C. — A woman is facing murder charges after the 14-month-old son of the man she was living with died after lengthy abuse, authorities said.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said the child, De’Yontae Miller Jr., had fractured ribs and a broken leg, in addition to having blunt force injuries to his head, neck and body. Some of the injuries were several weeks old.

Authorities were called to the house on Nov. 6, 2018, and the child was found unconscious. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The arrests were made Tuesday.

The woman living at the home, 23-year-old Ramesha Brantley, was not the child’s mother. She was the girlfriend of the child’s father, De’Yontae Miller, Sr.

Brantley faces charges of homicide by child abuse, as well as other child abuse charges. In addition, she’s charged with intent to distribute crack cocaine and other drug charges.

She’s being held without bond.

The child’s father, De’Yontae Miller Sr., was arrested on child abuse and other drug charges. His bond was set for $90,000, which authorities said he posted Friday.

Two other young children were in the home in the 900 block of 14th Street in Lancaster.

One child is a 1-year-old boy who is the biological child of both adults, and the other is a 3-year-old girl who is Miller’s biological daughter but has no blood relation to Brantley.

The State Law Enforcement Division Special Victims Unit investigated the case, finding the home had little food and no running water. Agents also found rat poison, over-the-counter prescription medication and cocaine and marijuana in the home.

Authorities served a search warrant on a second home that Brantley and Miller lived in, finding what they believe to be marijuana and scales at that location, they said.

“This has been a long but thorough investigation,” Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said in a news release. “Multiple agencies have been working on the case for several months. Many interviews have been conducted. The backgrounds of these adults and children have been examined. Forensic evidence has been tested. When we were satisfied we knew what happened to this child, we sought warrants from the magistrate and made the arrests.

"This has been a difficult investigation for all those involved and certainly a sad and tragic end to the life of this child.”