Rico Jones arrested as 3-year-old girl dies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rico Jones arrested as 3-year-old girl dies

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  An Albany man is in custody charged in an incident that's left a three year old girl dead. And we have learned that the child may have been nearly drowned.

Police have charged 23-year-old Rico Jones with reckless conduct in the incident at Bethel Apartments that sent Camyria Arnold to a Macon hospital. Police say the reckless conduct charges stem from smoking marijuana with the child in the room, but they're also investigating to determine if the girl was nearly drowned.

 The District Attorney's office says they're waiting on more medical reports to determine what sickened the child.

Investigators are still working to determine just what happened inside this Swift Street apartment.

"Further interviews with persons involved with the child, more medical information, that's the critical part of the situation, we'll be getting more medical information from the medical providers who have the child," said Dougherty Co. District Attorney Greg Edwards.

In the Albany Police report, a Phoebe doctor who examined Camyria told police she had bruises on her thigh and neck. Her body temperature was low, sodium levels were high-- consistent with a drowning.

The child's mother Portia Harper told police Jones told her he'd put the child in the tub and turned on a cold shower because she was acting sluggish, investigators say he was also smoking marijuana in front of the child.

"The basis of this reckless conduct is the allegation that he was in fact using marijuana in the presence of this child. Jones also worried the three year old swallowed something while he was napping. The child's medical condition is serious," said Edwards.

"She is at this point classified as being child brain dead and is currently under a resuscitation machine with life support," Edwards told us, hours before the child died.

While blood samples show there was marijuana in the child's system. "The blood samples indicate that the child had been around marijuana, the child has marijuana in her system."

Investigators want to know how much marijuana, along with how much water the child ingested? "There has to be further testing in order for us to make any determination about that."

Until they get that information, they'll continued questioning everyone involved. Edwards said there were two other children inside the Swift Street apartment; a one year old boy who is Jones' biological child, and a five year old.

 Investigators are still working to determine where they were, when the incident occurred.

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