A 4-year-old girl whose body was found Tuesday in a plastic bin was allegedly killed by her teenage brother, South Carolina authorities say.
Initially, Joanna Lockaby was reported missing from her home in Hester at about 2:20 p.m., prompting police to start a search of the area around her home.
A statement from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office says, “After deputies arrived on the scene, they initiated a search and located the victim at around 2:45 P.M.”
The statement continues: “Deputies located the victim’s body in a plastic bin” in the woods “behind the home the victim lived in along with” the suspect, 17-year-old William Micah Hester, her half-brother.
Joanna was pronounced deceased on the scene. Investigators believe she suffocated, and have accused Hester of killing her.
In addition to one charge of murder, Hester has been charged with kidnapping “due to the suspect’s act of unlawfully seizing and confining the victim in a container, preventing her escape,” the statement alleges.
Hester remains in the Greenville County Detention Center without bond. He has not entered pleas to the criminal counts he faces, and information on his lawyer — if he has one — was unavailable Thursday.
“This case, including the motive for the killing, is still under investigation by the GCSO and the Greenville County Coroner’s Office,” the statement notes.
WYFF reports that Hester’s father, William, spoke through tears at his son’s bond hearing Wednesday.
“Micah would not do anything like this on purpose,” the dad is quoted as saying. “He wouldn’t … I know my boy, and I can hold my hand up to the Lord and testify that. He’s a good boy. He’s never been in trouble. He loved his sister.”
Joanna was the sister of Joe Avery James Lockaby, a 1-year-old boy who died in a hot car in June 2018, the station notes.
The baby boy was in his grandmother Janik Nix’s care at the time of his death. Nix, 68, pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse and is currently out on parole, according to WYFF.
He looks like he did it.