(NEW YORK) — A 72-year-old grandmother has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the beating death of her own 8-year-old granddaughter.

Authorities were first notified of the incident at approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday when officials from the Nash County Sheriff’s Office were notified of a juvenile who had been brought into the emergency room with severe injuries and was dead upon arrival at Nash UNC Healthcare in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, about 50 miles east of Raleigh.


Deputies and detectives from the Nash County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to the hospital to further investigate the cause of death and it was determined that the 8-year-old girl lived in the 5000 block of Dutchman Road in Nashville, North Carolina, only several miles away from the hospital.

“Based on the investigation, it was determined that the 8-year old juvenile was beaten so severe by the Grandmother that she died from the injuries,” Nash County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement announcing the death of the young girl. “The child had severe injuries throughout her entire body and head.”

The 8-year-old girl lived at the home with her grandmother, who was the child’s legal guardian along with several other siblings who lived there as well.


The grandmother — named by police as 72-year-old Patricia Ann Ricks — was subsequently arrested and taken to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office where she made no statement regarding the case, police say.

She was charged with First Degree Murder and Felony Child Abuse with Serious Injury and placed into the Nash County Detention Center with no bond, authorities said.

Ricks is scheduled to make her first court appearance on Thursday in Nash County District Court.


Police said they are currently unaware of any possible motive for the beating death of the 8-year-old girl and that her surviving siblings are now in the custody of the Nash County Department of Social Services. The investigation is ongoing.

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