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Man accused of hugging his toddler to death

Robert Kemp accused of hugging his toddler to death

Each day thousands of children face the deadly epidemic of child abuse. In the United States, a child is abused every 10 second and 5 children die each day due to abuse and neglect. For most survivors, child abuse is a lifetime of unspoken, emotional scars.

Today USA TODAY reported a man is accused of "hugging his toddler to death."

Robert Kemp was arrested and is being charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of 14-month-old Jaylen Harris. The charges come more than a year after the toddler died. Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell did not say why more than a year had passed before charges were filed against Kemp.

Baby Jaylen "died of asphyxiation."

Kemp is accused of killing the toddler "by giving him a bear hug, squeezing the victim so tight that the victim stopped breathing as a result," according to the arrest warrant.

According to reports, Kemp told deputies "he was playing with Jaylen, who had been left in his care, when the boy started to rub his eyes like he was tired. So he put the toddler in his crib on his back with his bottle."

The report adds, Kemp says "he then went to the kitchen to do some chores and realized he hadn't heard the boy in a while. Kemp went back into the bedroom and noticed the toddler on his stomach, unconscious with his hands balled into fists."

Jaylen "did not respond to cardio-pulmonary resuscitation."

If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Kemp could be sentenced up to five years in prison.
Kemp was released from custody on Wednesday on a $10,000 bond.

Learn how to protect your children from abuse by learning the signs and symptoms of child abuse. One local organization making a difference in the lives of children is Dreamcatchers for Abused Children. Dreamcatchers is a 501 (c) 3 Michigan based non-profit child abuse and neglect awareness organization, dedicated to educating the public on the signs, symptoms, statics, intervention, prevention to assist victims and survivors in locating the proper resources to help achieve and enable a full recovery. This amazing organization is ran by two moms on a mission to end violence towards children.

For more information on Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, visit their website at:

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