Mother abandoned 1-year-old weeks before he was found dead, records show

DAYTON — A mother charged with her son’s death after firefighters found him dead in an apartment earlier this week “left him alone...knowing doing so would cause him to die,” court records read.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Child found dead in Dayton apartment, mother charged

Wanisha Smith, 33, of Dayton, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering after the 1-year-old was found Tuesday afternoon.

Smith appeared in a Dayton courtroom Friday for an initial appearance and entered a not guilty plea on the charges and bond was set at $1 million. A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for June 19.

Smith told police she hurt the boy “by bumping his head into a chair rendering him unconscious and unresponsive.” She also said she never attempted to provide medical care for him.

Officers responded to an apartment complex in the 1800 block of James H. McGee Blvd. around 2 p.m. after receiving a call from a neighbor, who had concerns about a “bad smell” coming from one of the residences.

“I think there’s someone over there that’s deceased,” the caller told dispatchers.

Dayton police said once they arrived at the apartment they also requested the Dayton Fire Department to help.

“Out of a concern for the safety and well-being of anyone inside, the Dayton Fire Department was requested to the scene and assisted with entering the apartment,” said Dayton Police Lt. Jason Hall. “Firefighters located the remains of a small child who had clearly been deceased for some time. A call out was then made for detectives from both the Dayton Police Department Special Victims Unit and the Homicide Unit.”

Court records show the child had been left in the apartment since approximately May 16.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said they are not able to release the name of the boy yet, a spokesperson said.

Several citizens helped lead police to Smith.

Smith does have other children, none of which police said live with her. Officers said those children are safe.