Nash County grandmother charged with murder of 8-year-old granddaughter

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Grandmother charged with murder of 8-year-old
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A Nash County grandmother, Patricia Ricks, has been charged with murder in the death of her 8-year-old granddaughter late Tuesday evening.

NASHVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Nash County grandmother has been charged with murder in the death of her 8-year-old granddaughter late Tuesday evening.

The sheriff's office began investigating earlier in the day when a badly injured 8-year-old died at the Emergency Room at Nash UNC Healthcare. Initially, the sheriff's office said the child was 13 years old but later deputies learned the child was actually 8.

The sheriff's office said it happened just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at a house in the 5000 block of Dutchman Road in Nashville.

Investigators said six children and two adults lived at the home and at least some of the children were present at the home when the 8-year-old was beaten. The grandmother, Patricia Ann Ricks, 72, and the 8-year-old granddaughter were among those living at the home.

One of the children at the home called 911 on Tuesday, telling the call center that Ricks was driving the 8-year-old girl to the hospital. The girl died before investigators arrived at the hospital.

The sheriff's office said deputies determined that the child was beaten by the grandmother and had "severe injuries throughout her entire body and head."

Ricks, who was the legal guardian of all the children at the home, was charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse with severe injury. She is being held at the Nash County Detention Center without bond. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 9.

Patricia Ann Ricks
Nash County Sheriff's Offie

The 8-year-old's siblings were all checked out by medical professionals and then placed in the care of the Department of Social Services.

Detectives said the motive in the killing remains unknown. Investigators expect to learn more details when the autopsy report is completed.

Investigators said they did find weapons at the home, but they did not elaborate about what type of weapons or if they were ever used on the children.

The victim's identity is not being released at this time, the sheriff's office said.

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