Mother of 2-year-old child placed under mattress held without bond
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -
Raven Campbell is in police custody after her 2-year-old son died Saturday morning. She has been charged with aggravated child abuse, and neglect of child under 6 years old and is being held without bond.
The Memphis Fire Department paramedics arrived at the scene at the 3400 block of Fairoaks Avenue at 11:05 a.m. and performed CPR on the child.
According to police, paramedics at the scene said the child was unresponsive and not breathing. At the hospital, staff and police officers noted that the child had bite marks and scratches on his body.
Later in the investigation, Raven Campbell admitted that she intentionally covered the child with a mattress for 20 to 30 minutes. When she moved the mattress, the child was not breathing.
She also admitted that she was responsible for the child's injuries, and that she had intentionally put him underneath a mattress to discipline him at least once before.
Neighbors say 2-year-old Jermyle was always smiling and dancing with his mother, Raven. They also say that Raven's home had no air conditioning and in this heat, they were worried it might have been the cause of death.
"He is a beautiful little boy," one neighbor said. "He was just over here a couple days ago and he was sharing stories with the kids. I just wish someone did something before this happened."
Family members say Jermyle woke up this morning, ate breakfast and played with his toys. What happened next is unclear.
Jermyle's grandmother, Jackie Campbell, says she saw Jermyle yesterday and he was fine. She showed Action News 5's Rose Eiklor cabinets full of food and the air conditioner at the house.
"I checked him and I didn't see scars or anything," she said. "I don't think she hurt him, but it's weird. He was here one minute, then gone the next."
Campbell described Saturday as a nightmare.
"He always called me his mother," Campbell said. "I said, 'Boy, I'm not your mother, I'm your grandmother. If I was your mother, I would kiss you all over.' I can't live without him. That's how I feel right now. That was my grand baby. He was my world."
Jermyle was taken to LeBonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition where he later died.
Campbell says she arrived five minutes after he was pronounced dead and the pain she is feeling knowing that he died right before she got there is heartbreaking.
Memphis police are still investigating Jermyle's death at this time. Police say charges against Raven Campbell could change depending on the results of their investigation and the Medical Examiner's report.
Campbell will appear in court on June 22.
Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.