Homicide

Mom found pushing dead son in playground swing indicted; family says she was mentally ill

  • This photo provided by the Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office shows Romechia Simms. Simms, who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year, has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office via AP)

    This photo provided by the Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office shows Romechia Simms. Simms, who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year, has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken May 26, 2015, a stuffed animal and flowers sit near a swing in Wills Memorial Park in LaPlata, Md. A Maryland woman who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday. The Charles County, Md. State’s Attorney’s Office announced that Romechia Simms, 24, was arrested Saturday and faced an arraignment Monday morning. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)

    In this photo taken May 26, 2015, a stuffed animal and flowers sit near a swing in Wills Memorial Park in LaPlata, Md. A Maryland woman who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday. The Charles County, Md. State’s Attorney’s Office announced that Romechia Simms, 24, was arrested Saturday and faced an arraignment Monday morning. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)  (The Associated Press)

  • This handout photo provided by the Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office shows Romechia Simms. A Maryland woman who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday.  (Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office via AP)

    This handout photo provided by the Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office shows Romechia Simms. A Maryland woman who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday. (Charles County, Md. Sheriff's Office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The mother of a Maryland woman charged with manslaughter after she was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing says her daughter is mentally ill, not a criminal.

Twenty-four-year-old Romechia Simms of La Plata was arraigned on child abuse and manslaughter charges Monday, four months after authorities found her pushing the lifeless body of 3-year-old Ji'Aire Donnell Lee in a swing.

Prosecutors say Simms and her son had been in the park for nearly two full days. A medical examiner said the boy died of dehydration and low body temperature.

Simms' mother, Vontasha Simms, says she was shocked to learn prosecutors are bringing criminal charges, adding the bizarre facts of the case show her daughter wasn't in her right mind.