Horry social worker’s arrest latest in case where baby died, kids drugged, police say

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Three people are in jail after a newborn baby died in Conway, including a state social worker assigned to the case.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesperson Tommy Crosby confirmed that a former Horry County social worker is facing charges for mishandling a case of a 3-week-old baby who died at a Conway home in May.

Amanda Marie Sutherland, 29, is charged with creating false documents and lying about completing a child abuse investigation that she never started, according to SLED.

At the time, Sutherland was an investigator with the Horry County Child Protective Services. She was fired on June 4 and was arrested Tuesday morning.

On April 21, Sutherland was tasked with investigating a child abuse case on Sanctuary Boulevard in Conway. She was legally obligated to investigate the case within a 24-hour time frame, according to SLED.

The child died on May 5. Sutherland had not begun the investigation, according to SLED.

The Horry County Coroner’s Office has not released the baby’s name nor the cause of death.

Arrests in connection to the baby’s death

Conway police arrived at the house about 2:30 p.m. May 5 and found an unresponsive 3-week-old baby, according to police records.

In the same household, two young girls — a 1- and a 4-year-old — tested positive for drugs.

Danielle Jones, spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Social Services, said there is no reason to believe that Sutherland falsified any other Child Protective Services documents.

“It is always a tragedy when a child dies as a result of a parent’s actions. In the last 5 years, South Carolina has averaged 11 fatalities per year due to trauma inflicted by a caregiver,” Jones wrote in an email to The Sun News.

“DSS has reviewed all the matters assigned to this individual (Sutherland) to determine whether there is reason to believe any falsification of records has occurred in other cases and no further concerns have been identified,” Jones wrote.

Sutherland is the third person who was arrested in connection to the death of the baby at the home on Sanctuary Boulevard. The two caregivers of the three children identified in the abuse case are also in jail.

Heather Lee Hare, 28, is charged with homicide by child abuse and four counts of unlawful neglect of a child, according to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center website.

Heather Hare is the mother of all three children, according to her arrest warrants with the Conway Police Department. On May 5, Heather Hare was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center, where she remains, according to jail records. She has no bond set.

Josh Gordon Hare, 28, was charged with two counts each of unlawful conduct toward a child and unlawful neglect of a child, according to the jail website.

On May 7, Josh Hare was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center, where he remains. His bond is set at $20,000.

The Hares are charged with placing the 1-year-old girl and a 4-year-old girl at a risk of harm affecting “the child’s life, physical or mental health, or safety,” according to an incident report from the Conway Police Department.

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