On Tuesday, June 21, police were called out to the Econo Lodge where the infant was found.
Investigators said Darla Luke was charged with felony child neglect. The other children in her custody were placed with their grandmother.
Luke’s bond was set at $25,000, and the case is still under investigation.
Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said the infant possibly died as a result of asphyxiation due to a co-sleeping situation. An autopsy will be performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.
Clinton police said Luke was previously charged with misdemeanor child neglect on June 7, 2022. At some point between June 7 and June 21, investigators said Child Protection Services returned the children to her custody.
The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services issued the following statement on the matter:
The staff of MDCPS grieves each time Mississippi loses a child.
MDCPS has responsibility for investigating every reported child fatality that occurs in the state. In accordance with state law, MDCPS’s Special Investigation Unit conducts investigations in cooperation with law enforcement. We do not have additional information to release at this time.
This is an opportunity to remind our community of the importance of reporting any signs of child abuse or neglect. If you have reason to suspect that a child is experiencing abuse or neglect, please contact our hotline at 1-800-222-8000.
The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services serves to protect children, support families, and encourage lasting family connections.Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services