GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina woman is accused of killing her 2-year-old granddaughter earlier this month, authorities said.
Rubie Charlottelette Thomas, 59, of Greensboro, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and intentional child abuse causing serious bodily injury, the News & Record of Greensboro reported.
According to an arrest warrant issued on April 18, the child was identified as Shade Wilhite, according to the newspaper.
The girl suffered injuries that included bleeding on the brain, near her spinal cord and inside of her eyes; rib fractures; bruised intestines; hemorrhaging to the scalp, skull, around the ribs and in the back; injuries to her face; lacerations in her mouth; an abrasion on the back of her left leg; and more than 50 contusions, the News & Record reported.
Greensboro police said the girl died from “non-accidental trauma, according to WGHP-TV.
Officers responding to a residence in Greensboro on April 1 found Wilhite suffering from cardiac arrest, WFMY-TV reported.
Investigators said the child’s 5-year-old brother, who also lived in the home, allegedly said that Thomas pushed his sister down stairs because she was “messing” with an aquarium, according to the television station.
Wilhite was taken to an area hospital where she later died from her injuries, WFMY reported.
Medical staff and detectives stated that they observed signs of potential child abuse, and the police department’s Family Victims Unit began an investigation, according to the News & Record.
“At the time the defendant inflicted the injury, the defendant was providing care for the child as Grandmother,” WGHP reported, citing an arrest warrant.
Thomas appeared remotely for her first court appearance on Thursday, according to the News & Record.