Infant Girl Found Stabbed And Burned to Death In Oven, Mississippi Grandmother In Custody

Carolyn Jones
A Mississippi grandmother faces murder charges for allegedly stabbing and stuffing her 20-month-old granddaughter in an oven , according to the county sheriff. Bolivar County Sheriff's Department

*UPDATE: 9:00 a.m. EDT—* Carolyn Jones, 48, was charged on Tuesday evening with First Degree Murder in the death of her 20-month-old granddaughter identified by Bolivar County Sheriff's Department as Royalty Marie Floyd.

The grandmother was arraigned and held on $500,000 bond, according to a sheriff's release.

The infant, who lived at the home on Martin Luther King Drive in Shaw, Mississippi with Jones, and was discovered dead on Monday evening after authorities were summoned by a male relative.

A sleepy Mississippi hamlet was in mourning a day after police rushed to a home on the two-lane Martin Luther King Drive. Once inside, Shaw police officers discovered an infant girl "stabbed and burned" and stuffed in an oven.

After arriving at the wooden plank home at around 7 p.m. Monday following a relative's call to police, "deputies found at the scene a 20-month-old female," Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams told reporters during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "Authorities have reason to believe the child was stabbed and burned…. She was found inside an oven."

Williams said he was unable to name the woman being questioned by authorities, who has been classified as a "person of interest." However, he did say that the woman in custody may be a relative of the murdered child.

"We were the scene yesterday that [the person of interest] was possibly the grandmother," Williams said. He added that he was unable to be certain because the investigators working the homicide case were recuperating from their horrific experience the night before.

Shaw is a small town with a population of less than 2000 and about a two-hour drive south of Memphis, Tennessee.

The unidentified woman remains in custody at the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Mississippi, Williams said.

The deceased girl's remains were sent to a state crime lab in Jackson, Mississippi, where an autopsy is expected to be performed to formalize the cause of death.

Despite the limited amount of facts the sheriff was able to offer, he was weighed down by emotion over the incident. "Dark days such as these can only brighten when justice is done," he said. In his 26 years of law enforcement, he acknowledged, this kind of a crime scene "has an effect."

The crime led one neighbor to cut her choir practice short and step outside to look at the flashing police car lights.

"I stepped out of the church and saw all the [police] cars, and a young lady told me that someone in the house cooked a baby," the longtime resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told Newsweek.

The home has not been a source of trouble for authorities. The only incident before the slain baby was found on Monday night was a call about a disturbance when a reptile managed to slip inside the home, Williams said. "Nothing criminal," he added.

This story has been updated to include details of the accused murder as well update the identity of the slain infant.