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Mother of baby left in hot car in Kingsland charged in son's death

Rhae Odum charged with manslaughter, child cruelty

Rhae Odum, 28, is charged in the hot car death of her 7-month-old son
Rhae Odum, 28, is charged in the hot car death of her 7-month-old son

KINGSLAND, Ga. – The mother of a 7-month-old boy who died last week after being pulled from a car at a Kingsland motel has been charged in her son's death.

Rhae Odum, 28, was booked into the Camden County Jail just before 10:30 a.m. Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child cruelty.

She was denied bond on all charges at an afternoon court appearance. Her next court date has not been set.

Investigators said the charges were based on physical evidence and an interview with Odum. They said other charges are pending.

The coroner's office determined Odum's son died of hyperthermia after he was left in a vehicle at the Quality Inn motel in Kingsland.

Kingsland police said they were called to the hotel just off Interstate 95 at 2 p.m. June 19 to investigate an infant not breathing. 

A guest at the hotel told News4Jax he heard a woman screaming that her baby needed help, came out of his room and bolted downstairs.

"When I got over there, she was laying on top, like on top of the baby, hugging and crying hysterically," said the man, who did not want his name used. "He had blood coming out of his nose, so I thought maybe he had hit his head or something. Once I started doing infant CPR (and) I felt how hot he was."

He said the child had no pulse, and he felt it was too late. Police said when they arrived the child was dead.

Police had the car towed from the scene for evidence.

Investigators said Odum was taken into custody after she was released from a medical facility.

News4Jax learned that Odum was arrested last month on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.