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Mom Facing Charges In Death Of Toddler Left In Van

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MACOMB COUNTY (WWJ) – A Shelby Township woman will be in court Tuesday to face charges for the death of her 2-year-old son.

WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports that prosecutors believe the child was left in a minivan for 10 hours.

Prosecutor Eric Smith says James Nelson was placed in a car seat in the mini-van about 8:30 in the morning and wasn’t discovered until his mother’s roommate saw the little boy’s foot through the window of the van at about 6 p.m. that evening.

“No one has claimed responsibility for this but through the investigation, we believe, put this at the seat of James Nelson’s mother,” said Smith.

The prosecutor says Nelson’s 21-year-old mother Audrionna Rhoades has given various stories about what happened that day but admits that she never called from work to check on her son.

“The cause of death was cardio-respiratory arrest – when he was taken to the hospital he had a core body temperature of 108 (degrees),” said Smith.

No one has admitted to putting the toddler in the car.

“You know, this poor child was left in a car for 10 hours and it was in a car only the mother drove,” said Smith. “Not once during that day did the mother ever call and check on him. I believe that when she was arrested today she was upset. Other than that – well – there are a lot of things playing into the evidence in these cases and demeanor certainly plays into our case.”

Rhoades is being charged with second-degree murder and child abuse in the case.

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