BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — A woman was arrested Monday in connection with her 3-year-old child’s death, weeks after he was found on the front porch of their Burke County home in freezing temperatures, authorities said.
Jamie Basinger is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse in Landyn Melton’s death.
"It was just a terrible tragedy," Basinger said.
Officers were called in March to a home on Hopewell Road after someone drove by the house and spotted a child on the front porch.
Investigators believe that Landyn wandered outside sometime during the night and died after being exposed to the freezing conditions for too long. Windchill values in Burke County that night were below zero.
Deputies said Basinger and her boyfriend were asleep in the home. According to the indictment, she failed to supervise her son, resulting in his death.
Search warrants in the case were unsealed on Thursday. Basinger admitted to using methamphetamine and marijuana in the two days prior to her son's death, according to court documents.
The search warrants said that deputies wanted a sample of Basinger's blood to see if drugs may have contributed to her son's death. The documents revealed that Basinger last saw her son alive at 10:30 p.m., the night before his death.
"I love my kids to death and I would never do nothing to hurt him," Basinger said.
(Click PLAY to watch reporter Dave Faherty question Jamie Basinger as she's led to jail)
She was asked if she understood why she was being charged, and she shook her head.
Deputies said Basinger was arrested after they questioned her about the case. They said they spent hours at the home on the morning of Landyn's death collecting evidence. The search warrants containing information on the evidence are sealed.
"Jamie is a wonderful mom,” Jamie’s grandmother, Brenda Basinger, said. “She loved her babies. She still loves her babies, and she would never do anything to hurt her babies."
Basinger was given a $100,000 bond.
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