Charles Co. Sheriff's Reports

LA PLATA, Md. (July 6, 2015)—The Charles County Sheriff's Office today released the following incident and arrest reports.

UPDATE IN DEATH INVESTIGATION: Charles County Sheriff’s detectives are continuing their investigation into the death of Ji’Aire Donnell Lee, 3, who was found deceased last month at Wills Memorial Park in La Plata. On June 24, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled the manner of death a homicide and the cause of death dehydration and hypothermia.

The investigation started on May 22, at 6:55 a.m., when officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and La Plata Town Police responded to the park upon being notified of a woman who had been pushing a toddler in a swing for an unusually long period of time. When officers arrived, they found Ji’Aire’s mother pushing him in the swing but Ji’Aire was deceased. There were no obvious signs of trauma. Ji’Aire’s mother, 24, was transported to a hospital for an evaluation.

The investigation showed Ji’Aire and his mother arrived at the park on Wednesday, May 20 at about 11:15 a.m. Ji’Aire, who was alive, was placed in the swing where he stayed until he and his mother were discovered. Additional details are not available at this point and the case will be reviewed by the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office.

BURGLARY: On June 29 at 8:50 a.m., officers responded to Keepsake Place in Waldorf for the report of a burglary. The homeowner reported suspect(s) broke into his house and stole several new tires he had just purchased. PFC D. Walker is investigating.

BURGLARY: On June 29 between 9:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., unknown suspects broke into a house in the 4600 block of Grebe Place in Waldorf and stole jewelry, shoes and electronics. Witnesses say the suspects may have been in a light-colored pick-up truck. PFC D. Butler is investigating.

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: On June 29 at 2:08 a.m., officers responded to the 2400 block of Lake Drive in Waldorf for the sound of possible gunshots. When officers arrived, they saw two juveniles fleeing on foot. The teens were apprehended and investigation showed the juveniles – a 14-year-old female and a 15-year-old male – had broken several windows in the area of Lake Drive, Holly Station and Calico Woods. The juveniles were charged with destruction of property. Officer C. Gustafson is investigating.

THEFT OF MOTOR SCOOTERS: Sometime between June 28 and June 29, unknown suspect(s) stole two Razor E100 motor scooters from an open garage in the 4100 block of Arthur Ross Place in Indian Head. One scooter is lime green and the other is blue. PFC D. E. Raby is investigating.

BURGLARY: On June 28 at 5 a.m., officers responded to the 5300 block of Emma Lane in Indian Head for the report of a burglary. A witness said she was outside with her dog when she heard a noise coming from the garage area, but she thought it was her relatives and she did not investigate. An hour later, the woman went to the garage where she noticed a TV, a game system and some fishing poles had been stolen. PFC. D. E. Raby is investigating.

THEFT FROM AUTO: On June 28 at 5:55 a.m., officers responded to the 1000 block of Kenneth Court in Indian Head for the report of a theft from an auto. The victim said he left his work truck unlocked and someone broke into it during the overnight hours and stole tools, copper, and a GPS unit. PFC D. E. Raby is investigating.

STOLEN FIREARM RECOVERED: On June 27 at 1 a.m., Cpl. M. Sokoloff initiated a traffic stop in the area of St. Patrick’s Drive. Upon approaching the driver, Cpl. Sokoloff detected a strong odor of alcohol. The driver was arrested after failing several sobriety tests. Upon searching the car, Cpl. Sokoloff found a semi-automatic handgun which had been reported stolen in North Carolina. Further investigation showed the driver, Erik William Schmidt, 29, of Washington, D.C. is prohibited to have firearms due to prior convictions. While at the detention center, Schmidt made threats to harm Cpl. Sokoloff and his family. Schmidt was charged with driving under the influence, possession of a stolen firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and making threats against a police officer.

BURGLARY: On June 24 between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., unknown suspect(s) broke into a house in the 3600 block of Old Washington Road in Waldorf and stole money and the car keys to the victim’s truck. When the homeowner arrived home, he noticed his 1998 Dodge Dakota had been stolen. PFC P. Morgan is investigating.

SCAM ALERT: The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several reports of a scam in which someone is calling residents claiming to be a police officer and warns the person they missed jury duty and must pay a fine or risk being arrested. The caller tells the person in order to clear their name, they must pay the fine over the phone and respond to the court house within a few days to see a judge. In some cases, the caller has provided specific names of judges and in once case, the caller altered their call back number to appear as the CCSO’s non-emergency line. Once the caller gains trust, they instruct the person to purchase a money card (similar to a charge card) and put a prepaid amount on the card. Once completed, the person is told to call back and provide the caller with the card’s pin number. In other cases, the scammer asks victims to provide credit card information or personal bank account information. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office does not make phone calls regarding jury duty nor does the Charles County Office of the Clerk call or email anyone for financial purposes. Anyone who receives a call of this nature is urged to hang up immediately. Persons who believe they may have been victims of this scam are asked to call Det. S. Webster at (301)609-6558.

Disclaimer: In the U.S.A., all persons accused of a crime by the State are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. See: Additionally, all of the information provided above is solely from the perspective of the respective law enforcement agency and does not provide any direct input from the accused or persons otherwise mentioned. You can find additional information about the case by searching the Maryland Judiciary Case Search Database using the accused's name and date of birth. The database is online at . Persons named who have been found innocent or not guilty of all charges in the respective case, and/or have had the case ordered expunged by the court can have their name, age, and city redacted by following the process defined at .

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