South Carolina mom charged with murder after newborn found in woods

Joanie Holcombe / Anderson County Sheriff's Office / WSPA
Joanie Holcombe / Anderson County Sheriff's Office / WSPA

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — The mother of an abandoned newborn that died after being left in a wooded area in Anderson County has been arrested and charged with murder.

According to Lt. Sheila Cole with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Joanie Faith Holcombe, 23, has been charged with an additional count of unauthorized removal of a dead body as well as the murder charge.

Cole reports that Saturday morning deputies were notified of an infant that was found near Cherokee Circle and Sioux Street in a wooded area. Once at the scene, deputies discovered the infant was a dead newborn.

Holcombe was located by law enforcement, and she confessed to the child’s death and self-handled burial.

“I don’t know this young mother’s exact situation, but I do know that others who find themselves with an unwanted newborn have viable options,” Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said following the arrest. “One option is guaranteed by the South Carolina Safe Haven Law.”

By South Carolina law, a person can leave their baby, up to 30 days old, with an attendant at any hospital, emergency medical services provider, law enforcement agency, fire station, or worship center.

Due to health issues, Holcombe will have a bond hearing Tuesday. She is currently being held at the Anderson County Detention Center.

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