Shawn Campbell, Jr.
BIRTH: December 28, 2003
DEATH: July 30, 2007
BIRTH: September 10, 2004
DEATH: July 30, 2007
Shawn, 3, and Triniti, 2, we found in garbage bags under the kitchen sink in the extended stay motel in which they lived with their mother, Sametta Heyward.
Sametta had to work a 15 hour shift at Charleston County Disabilities Board, where she was employed. She thought she had child care set up so she could work her shift and have her kids taken care of. However, that fell through and she thought she had no other choice but to take Shawn and Triniti to work with her and leave them in her car when it was over 88 degrees outside, for over 15 hours. She did this even with extended family and friends that would have been more than willing to care of the children. She took with her water, food, and battery operated fans, but it did nothing for the 3 and 2 year old left in the car alone. They crawled into the trunk and died after passing out from heat exhaustion after 15 hours.
The pathologist’s report notes that one child car seat was found in the car, but it was not secured. The car’s child safety locks also were not secured. It was unclear whether the windows were rolled up all the way, the report stated.
A relative told investigators Heyward tried CPR on the children, but when it didn’t work, she drove them back to their extended-stay room at The Willows on Remount Road, Hanahan police said. She gave each child a bath, dressed them and then put them in garbage bags beneath the sink, he said.
Investigators found the children under the sink the next day.
Hanahan police found the children’s bodies while responding to a disturbance call. Neighbors said they heard a woman screaming, “Oh my babies, my babies.” When police arrived, Heyward was in a struggle with a relative and told police officers that she wanted to die. She pleaded with arresting officers to kill her while kicking and biting them.
Sametta was charged with two counts of homicide by child abuse. She wrote in a suicide note that she had to take the children with her to work because she couldn’t find anyone to watch them. She wrote that she wanted to check on them but was afraid she would get in trouble.
She was found guilty of two counts of homicide by child abuse and sentenced to 9 years in prison.