Mom arrested after 2 of her 3 children drown in locked SUV


LELAND, Miss. (AP) — A 25-year-old Mississippi woman has been arrested after two of her three children drowned when she left them in a locked car and it rolled into a creek, authorities said Monday.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Leland police charged Jenea Monique Payne on Monday with two counts of negligent homicide and one of child neglect after the weekend deaths.

Payne told investigators she left the children for five or 10 minutes while she went into a convenience store on Saturday. Two-year-old Raelynn Johnson was rescued that day as Payne’s SUV floated downstream. Four-year-old Steve Smith and 1-year-old Rasheed Johnson Jr. drowned in the vehicle, authorities said.

Leland Police Chief Marcus Davis said Payne left the keys in the vehicle. Davis said investigators believe the 4-year-old put the keys in the ignition, turned the car on and put it in neutral, causing it to roll into the creek.

Davis could not explain why Payne would have left her sleeping children in a locked car with the keys inside or how the 4-year-old could have reached the brake to depress it in order to crank the SUV.

CBS Forced to Delete Segment After Most Embarrassing Biden Reporting in History Exposed On-Air

“We’ll look into it further,” he said.

Payne was free on bail.

She did not have an attorney as of Monday afternoon who could comment for her.

Leland is about 85 miles (135 kilometers) northwest of Jackson.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City