Body of small child found in Dayton apartment; mother taken into custody

Wanisha Francine Smith  MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL
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Wanisha Francine Smith MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

Police are investigating the death of a young child found inside a North James H. McGee Boulevard apartment Tuesday.

The child’s mother, Wanisha Francine Smith, 33, was booked into jail on a preliminary murder charge after being interviewed by detectives, said Dayton police Lt. Jason Hall.

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Police responded at 2:10 p.m. Tuesday to the apartment on welfare check after neighbors reported not seeing the occupant for some time.

“Their concern was compounded due to a strange odor coming from the apartment,” Hall said. “Once inside, [Dayton] firefighters located the remains of a small child who had clearly been deceased for some time.”

A 911 caller said there was a “real bad” smell coming from the apartment.

“I think there’s somebody over there that’s deceased,” she said.

Balloons a few other items left on the complex’s steps marked a small memorial for the child. STAFF PHOTO / JIM NOELKER
Caption
Balloons a few other items left on the complex’s steps marked a small memorial for the child. STAFF PHOTO / JIM NOELKER

When other people at the complex knocked at the door, no one answered, she said.

Balloons a few other items left on the complex’s steps marked a small memorial for the child.

Police found Smith with the help of several citizens. She was arrested Tuesday evening in the 3200 block of Amanda Drive in Trotwood, according to jail booking records.

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Detectives also confirmed the safety of her other children, which do not live with her.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office is working to determine how the child died.

More information about the child was not released, however, a police incident report mentioned a 1-year-old boy.

Police will present the facts of the case to the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office for the consideration of charges.

We are working to learn more details and will continue to update this story as more information is available.