On Sunday, July 22, 2012, Roanoke County Police and Fire & Rescue personnel were called to a residence in the 4100 block of Rutrough Road for a report of a one-year old child not breathing. Fire & Rescue personnel began emergency treatment of the child at the scene and she was taken to the hospital.
The examination at the hospital revealed signs of blunt force trauma to the child’s head and she was hospitalized.
The investigation revealed that the child’s mother, 21-year-old Chelsy Marie Lawrence of Roanoke City, left the baby in the care of her boyfriend at the Rutrough Road residence. The boyfriend was identified as 27-year-old Preston Kent King. King lived at the residence with two females.
Information gained during the investigation resulted in King being charged with aggravated malicious wounding and felony child abuse. He’s being held in the Roanoke County/Salem Jail without bond.
The 13-month-old girl, Veralee Craft of Roanoke City, died at the hospital on Tuesday, July 24 at 9:37 a.m.
This is the first time that Roanoke County police have received any calls regarding the welfare of the child.
Detectives are continuing their investigation and working with the Roanoke County Commonwealth Attorney’s office. Additional charges in this case are possible pending completion of the investigation.