Nov. 9—NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County Sheriff, Lee Foster has announced the arrest and charge of Collie Dee Dawkins in the October death of his six-month-old daughter, who was in his custody and care.
Shortly after midnight on October 23, 2022, Newberry County 911 received a call regarding a domestic issue in the Prosperity area of Newberry County, per the NCSO. Responding deputies discovered that the biological father of a sixth-month old infant had been allowed to take the child. However, sometime after leaving, the biological father called and began to berate the mother and made threats to harm the child and mother, per the NCSO. Deputies put out a be-on-the-lookout for the suspect and his white Toyota Prius along with contacting SLED, due to possibility of it being a statewide event. At approximately 2:00 a.m., a deputy spotted the Toyota Prius at a convenience store on S.C. 34 at I-26. The deputy located the described suspect in the driver's position and the infant unrestrained in an unsecured infant carrier, NCSO said.
The NCSO further stated that there was also evidence the vehicle had been in an unreported traffic accident. The suspect was detained, and the child appeared unresponsive to the arriving deputies.
Newberry County EMS was called, and heroic measures were taken. The child was transported to Newberry County Memorial Hospital, where lifesaving methods were attempted. The infant was pronounced deceased at Newberry Hospital.
With the continued investigation of the Newberry County Sheriff's Office, Newberry County Coroner's Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the 8th Judicial Circuit Solicitors Office, information and evidence was discovered to charge Dawkins with homicide by child abuse. On November 9, 2022, Newberry County Sheriff's Office investigators went before a Newberry County Magistrate and obtained a warrant for Dawkins on the criminal charge of homicide by child abuse.
This criminal charge consists of an act or omission by any person who causes harm to the child's physical health or welfare, which could consist of failing to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care.
Dawkins was located and taken into custody just after noon today and is being detained at the Newberry County Detention Center, pending due course of law.
Dawkins is presently out on a $18,684.00 cash/surety bond for domestic violence second degree, unlawful conduct toward a child, driving under suspension, habitual traffic offender, open container and not having the infant in proper child restraints.
This incident is still under investigation.