Lt. Blaise Dresser said Lisa Stocker, the mother of Daniel Stocker, admitted to investigators that she was asleep “and not attending to the needs of her youngest child.” Lisa Stocker became aware of Daniel’s disappearance only after a neighbor alerted her to the family’s dogs running loose in the neighborhood, Dresser said.
Stocker, who also was charged with misdemeanor deprivation of a child, was booked into the Richmond County Jail.
Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said Lisa Stocker was home alone when the boy was reported missing around 9 a.m. Wednesday.
The child’s father was out of town on business.
Thirty or more deputies combed the Covington subdivision off Old Waynesboro Road for most of the morning.
The child had last been seen outside the house in the 3800 block of Creighton Place.
Gay said surveillance video from a neighbor’s home showed the child outside and unattended earlier that morning.
Charmaine Lynch, 15, told deputies she was on her way to school around 7:30 a.m., when she saw the toddler pulling a wagon in a yard near the home.
“He was just playing by himself,” she said while standing with a dozen or more neighbors across the street.
After searches in the neighborhood failed, the fire department and dive team were called to search a pool in the backyard of the child’s home and a pool down the street.
The murky, debris-filled conditions of the pool in the toddler’s backyard complicated matters, authorities said.
“It made the search very difficult,” Gay said.
Crews removed much of the water from the pool before divers were sent back in to search through the remaining water and debris. Divers found the child’s body about 12:30 p.m.
Sheriff’s officers said they will continue to investigate.