The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest of two people in the death of an infant child. The two, Shawn Lankford and Heather Williams, were identified in the media release as the infant’s parents. They were taken into custody and booked into Wayne McCollum Detention Center on June 7, where both are being held on a charge of murder, with bonds set at $1 million each.
According to the media release, sheriff’s deputies responded Saturday, March 19, to a residence on Lone Elm Road in Waxahachie in reference to a child who was not breathing. Deputies arrived to see a female infant being loaded into an ambulance, with emergency medical personnel performing CPR. The infant was transported to Methodist hospital in Midlothian where, despite lengthy life-saving measures, the child was pronounced dead at 11:16 a.m. (March 19), according to the release.
The investigator assigned to the case conducted preliminary interviews with Lankford, 43, and Williams, 30, with a subsequent investigation conducted by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. At the request of the sheriff’s office lead investigator, an autopsy was conducted by the Dallas County medical examiner’s office. Results of that autopsy revealed the manner of death was “toxic effects of methamphetamine in an unsafe sleeping environment,” according to the release.
As a result of the investigation, arrest warrants for the offense of murder were obtained on Lankford and Williams. Both were arrested and booked into Wayne McCollum Detention Center on June 7, with bonds set at $1 million each.
The sheriff’s office expressed its appreciation to assisting agencies, including the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the Office of the Texas Attorney General Fugitive Unit.