Mother charged in child’s death

Published 10:09 am Thursday, October 6, 2016


SEABOARD – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has charged a Seaboard woman in the death of her 4-year-old child.

Seaboard police Chief Virginia Powell said Sherika Norwood, 26, currently faces a charge of felony intentional child abuse causing serious bodily injury.

Investigation by the SBI and Seaboard Police Department continues to determine whether more charges will be filed against the woman.

Sherika Norwood

Sherika Norwood

Norwood, of East Church Street, is currently jailed on $1 million bond and has a first court appearance today (Thursday) in Jackson.

An investigation began this past Friday when Deputy W. Killian of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of an unresponsive child shortly after 3 a.m. The child was found unresponsive in the hallway of the residence where he lived with his mother. Powell said in a statement that Killian began to administer CPR on the child upon his arrival.

Northampton EMS arrived on scene shortly after and transported the boy to Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids.

Powell was notified of the call due to foul play being suspected while Northampton County DSS/Child Protective Services and Detective J. Jenkins of the sheriff’s office also responded to HRMC, where the child was later pronounced dead.

A search warrant was executed at Norwood’s residence by Powell and Captain Patrick Jacobs of the sheriff’s office.

Powell also notified the SBI, which provided processing of the crime scene. Several items of evidence were collected.

Powell said in the statement that the boy sustained serious and extensive injuries about his body.

Earlier this week Powell said it appeared the boy had old scars about his body consistent with ongoing abuse. It is believed, she said, a belt was used to inflict the injuries and there were fresh wounds on his body the morning the call was made he was unresponsive.

“Over time, it got too much for his body to take,” she said. “Old scars had healed and he had fresh ones when we got there.”

Powell said it has not been determined whether the belt was the proximate cause of death.

The boy was a twin and Powell said there was reportedly evidence of old scarring on his surviving sibling.

Details from the search warrant were made available on Wednesday. Jacobs, who obtained the warrant on Sept. 30, noted he was looking for evidence of blood, items used as weapons to inflict burn marks, items used as weapons to inflict abrasions, bruises and puncture wounds and any other items used to assault the child.

He also stated in the document he was looking for liquid fluid such as Kool-Aid as the initial report given to Northampton County Central Communications was the child choked on the beverage and EMS was needed.

Jacobs wrote in the search warrant application he was looking for any other objects containing blood and any other evidence that constituted the crime of assault inflicting serious bodily injury of a child under 12.

Law enforcement seized a liquid red substance from a white Styrofoam cup, one black belt and one white belt.

Hospital personnel notified law enforcement to respond as the juvenile had multiple bruises, scars and burn marks all over his body.

Detective J. Jenkins of the sheriff’s office and Seaboard police Chief Virginia Powell arrived at the hospital. They noticed a large open wound on his right buttock, which the medical examiner said was an apparent burn mark. The officers also observed burn marks and abrasions on the left buttock that appeared to be old and healing wounds.

There were extensive large amounts of bruising all over the boy’s chest and stomach area, Jacobs wrote in the application, as well as bruising on the left shoulder, left hip, right hip down to the right knee, left leg and right forearm.

Jacobs noted more injuries to the child, including abrasions and lacerations on the left shoulder. His collarbone area had an open wound with blood present and “a busted bottom lip.”

The juvenile had abrasions on his right temple, knees and left forearm.

“The juvenile had new and old scars, bruises and abrasions over his entire body. The juvenile had punctures, holes, healing wounds on his shoulder, legs and back.”

There were abrasions and cut marks over the entire back of his body, Jacobs wrote.

Norwood told law enforcement, Jacobs wrote, the child’s biological father lived in Virginia and she allowed the boy to stay with him from Sept. 26-29.

However, in interviews with her, she was unsure of the father’s information, his phone number and where he lived in Virginia.

“The father had not been involved in the child’s life before and this was the first time,” Jacobs wrote in his report.

Jacobs wrote the medical examiner’s conclusion was the injuries ranged from approximately days to weeks old and were in various stages of healing and injury.

Powell, who spoke with Norwood’s current boyfriend, said the child was home on September 29 and never went anywhere with his biological father.

In the arrest warrant, Agent T. Johnson of the SBI, noted he found probable cause to believe Norwood unlawfully, willfully and intentionally committed assault resulting in seriously bodily injury, beating the child with a belt and buckle over the child’s entire body causing open wounds and punctures.

Those wounds, he wrote in the warrant, “resulted in the permanent loss and impairment of any meaningful and emotional function of the victim.”

Investigation by the SBI and Seaboard Police Department continues to determine whether more charges will be filed against the woman as well as the proximate cause of death.

(Lance Martin is the Editor and Publisher of This article was published with permission.)