Authorities in South Carolina claim that a 4-year-old girl whose body was discovered in a trash bin on Tuesday was murdered by her teenage brother.
When Joanna Lockaby was first reported missing from her home at around 2:20 p.m., police began the search. The victim was found at roughly 2:45 p.m., according to a statement from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
“Deputies located the victim’s body in a plastic bin” in the woods “behind the home the victim lived in along with” the suspect, her 17-year-old half-brother, William Micah Hester.
Investigations determined Joanna died from suffocation, and Hester has been accused of committing the crime.
Hester is being charged with abduction in addition to one count of murder “due to the suspect’s act of unlawfully seizing and confining the victim in a container, preventing her from escaping,” according to the statement.
As of Thursday, there is no information available regarding his attorney. He is currently being held without bond at the Greenville County Detention Facility, where he has yet to admit guilt to the charges against him.
“This case, including the motive for the killing, is still under investigation by the GCSO and the Greenville County Coroner’s Office,” the statement notes.
The suspect’s father, William Hester, reportedly broke down in tears during his son’s bond hearing on Wednesday.
“Micah would not do anything like this on purpose,” the dad is quoted as saying. “He wouldn’t … I know my boy, and I can hold my hand up to the Lord and testify that. He’s a good boy. He’s never been in trouble. He loved his sister.”