ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A 25-year-old Alexander County man is facing first degree murder charges after a 17-month-old child officials said he was watching died from traumatic head injuries.
Justin Carver called 911 Friday morning to report that the child was injured.
"He fell off the couch and hit his head," he told the operator. "He's acting funny."
Medical teams were dispatched to the home that Carver had taken the child to. According to Sheriff Chris Bowman, once crews saw the injuries, they suspected it was no accident.
"They knew right off the bat," said Bowman.
The child, Camden Hudson, was airlifted to a Charlotte hospital. Carver was then questioned about how the injuries happened.
"His story changed two or three times," said Bowman.
Carver was eventually charged with child abuse and placed in the Alexander County Detention Center. Monday afternoon the child died. The charges were then upgraded to first degree murder.
Officials said the child died from the head injury, but will not go into details yet on how exactly he sustained it. They are awaiting autopsy results and investigative reports. Bowman said there were other bruises on the child's body, but no indication yet how they got there. Detectives are looking into it.
Carver, meanwhile, has a first appearance in court on the murder charge Wednesday morning.
The death of the child is the third one in the past year in Alexander County in which charges resulted, said Bowman. All the cases are unrelated. Still, Bowman is upset.
"This kind of situation is getting out of hand," the sheriff said.
Bowman said parents and caregivers need to be responsible, and if they cannot care for a child properly, "They can drop the child off here at this office seven days a week, 24 hours a day."
Carver, said the sheriff, has no significant criminal record. He met the child's mother online and the two were living together since earlier in the summer, about three months.
Carver is expected to appear in court Wednesday.