How the tragedy happened is still not clear, but a 21-month-old girl in South Carolina is dead today, shot, police say, by a 40-year-old man who may or may not be her father. Meanwhile, the little girl’s mother is in custody as an accessory to the murder.
Timothy O’Neil Sanders, 40, and April Dixon, 23, both of Hartsville, were arrested and denied bond Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of toddler Madison Dolford (pictured) in the front yard of their home.
The accused killer and the younger woman were originally arrested on drug charges, but after an investigation in which police scoured the neighborhood for suspects, they were charged in connection with the child’s murder.
There are conflicting reports on what happened. Police first believed that the shooting resulted from a confrontation between Sanders and some other individuals, that went back to an altercation about a week earlier.
Later reports, however, indicate that it was Sanders and Dixon who were engaged in an argument, just between the two of them.
“It’s been reported there was an ongoing dispute between the two, but I can’t confirm that at this point,” said Hartsville city spokesperson Natalie Zeigler, who added that she had no information as to how the shooting of the child occurred.
But a report earlier this morning by local TV station WBTW identified Sanders and Dixon as Madison Dolford’s parents, based on a statement from Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee.
Zeigler, however, told the SC Now web site that she was not sure what Sanders’ relationship was to the child.
At 11 pm on Monday night, police said that they did not know who fired the gun that killed the toddler. But by 11:30 they had a “person of interest” in custody.
On Tuesday, Sanders was charged in the child’s murder.
SOURCES: SC Now, WBTW Channel 13