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Published: Monday, 9/23/2013

Michigan woman, 21, charged with murder in death of son, 2, left buckled in sweltering minivan


SHRELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Suburban Detroit authorities say they’ve filed a murder charge against a woman who left her 2-year-old son to die buckled inside a sweltering minivan.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said today that 21-year-old Audrionna Rhoades of Shelby Township is charged with child abuse, as well as second-degree murder.

Smith says that Rhoades left her son James Nelson buckled to the seat in the van the morning of Sept. 3, then drove another vehicle to work. He says that 9½ hours later, a roommate noticed James’s foot through the window of the van.

The child was freed but died soon after at a hospital.

Smith says Rhoades will be arraigned Tuesday in Shelby Township district court. It’s unknown if she has a lawyer, and she doesn’t have a listed phone number.

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