BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The mother and aunt of a 17-year-old accused of killing a toddler have each been arrested on charges of lying to police, and a weapon has been recovered in connection with the killing, according to Brunswick police.
Karimah Elkins, 36, the mother of De'Marquise Elkins, and Katrina Elkins, 33, the teen's aunt, were each arrested Tuesday morning. They're charged with making false statements or writings, and concealing facts or fraudulent documents in matters of government.
Karimah Elkins posted $1,104 bond. Katrina Elkins also posted bond but was being held in jail on an unrelated out-of-county warrant.
De'Marquise Elkins (on right in photo) is one of two teens charged with murder in the shooting death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago last week.
The teens made their first appearances in court Monday.
Investigators said De'Marquise Elkins shot and killed the child as his mother pushed him in his stroller.
Katrina Elkins told police De'Marquise was with her the morning of the killing. Investigators did not elaborate on what the women told them that was not true, but they did say the two were questioned again and gave statements that were inconsistent with their previous statements.
What they said led police to other witnesses, and it was one of those witnesses who led police to a saltwater pond at U.S. Highway 17 and Golden Isles Parkway about 4 a.m. Tuesday, Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said in a phone conference Tuesday.
Police said they recovered a handgun in the pond, and they said the gun was being tested to see if it was used in the killing. The gun was removed from the pond in a container of saltwater to preserve the environment, police said. It will be tested for fingerprints and ballistics by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Police in Georgia say an anonymous tip helped them make arrests of the teen suspects. The Brunswick Police Department said it got a tip that someone was crouched in the backseat of a vehicle as it drove away from the shooting Thursday. The Glynn County detective's division spent hours following up on the tip and eventually arrested the 15-year-old suspect. The boy's statements led them to Elkins, according to police.
Santiago's mother, Sherry West, said she was pushing her son in a stroller Thursday morning when Elkins and the younger boy approached and asked her for money. She said she told them she didn't have any, and said Elkins shot Antonio in the head. West said he also shot her in the leg.
Elkins' family said he did not shoot the child.
Police said West is not a suspect. They did not say if she knew the suspects and was a target or if the killing was random.
Police said they are still investigating a motive.
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