Vidalia couple arrested on child cruelty charges

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - A Vidalia couple is facing felony charges after one of the woman's children died, but the charges come over the welfare of her older child.

Tasha Sikes and Jason Hayes are facing child cruelty charges with more charges possible.

Vidalia Police say they're filing charges now because they're getting some results from medical tests ordered back in March. The couple faces charges in connection with the condition of Sikes' 18-month-old, not the death of her four-month-old.

The case started in March when police and EMS went to the Royal Inn for a 911 call of a sick baby. They found Tasha Sikes there with her four-month-old who was pale and not breathing. The child died later in the hospital. Investigators also found Sikes' 18-month-old in the same room and social workers took custody of that child. Police say the results of bloodwork for that child came back last week and prompted charges against Sikes and her boyfriend.

"It was later determined that child had drugs in its system,' said Captain Randy Clark, Vidalia Police Department. "The parents were charged with cruelty to children."

Clark could not say what type of drugs they found or how they came into the child's system. They're still waiting on test results from the four-month-old's autopsy.

Both Sikes and Hayes remain in the Toombs County Jail. More charges could follow.

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