“Me and my friend, we’re like something smells like fish,” local resident Florida Beckworth told AL.com. “A few minutes later, a guy came by and said, ‘You need to come now they just found a little boy up the street.
“Everything inside of me just tore up,” she continued. “It didn’t matter whose child it was because we’re connected through god so every child is your child.”
Authorities initially charged Patterson, 46, with corpse abuse, but now have added manslaughter charges.
She is an employee of Community Nursery & Preschool Academy in Mobile.
“There were some things that led us to believe that she had some involvement with the child and that most likely would have come through the daycare,” Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste told AL.com.
Kenya Anderson, the director of Community Nursery & Preschool Academy, told AL.com that Kamden was taken there by his mother on Monday morning and than transported to another daycare facility in Patterson’s van.
“She comes here and gets her students and verifies that she has everyone,” Anderson told the news website. “She transports them to three locations on that route.”
However, Patterson told Anderson that she did not pick up Kamden as part of her afternoon shift. It was around the same time that that police came to question Patterson.
“It’s indescribable,” Anderson told AL.com. “Words can’t explain it.”
Patterson’s criminal record includes 12 previous arrests and goes back to 1991, according to WKRG. Her arrest record includes 13 charges of theft of property, and in 1999 she was charged with reckless driving, failure to properly restrain a child and filing a false police report, according to the station.
During a court appearance on Wednesday, her 24-year-old son Demarcus LeAndrew Lymon had to be restrained while trying to give the suspect a hug, according to AL.com. He was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
“I don’t think there was any intent to harm anyone by that man. I think he was just emotionally distraught,” Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich told the news website. “He did not follow the rules and we have to maintain order in the courtroom and everybody has to follow the rules regardless of being distraught or not.”
Patterson had only worked at the daycare facility for a few months, Anderson told AL.com. Kamden had only been going there for a few weeks.
“He was a sweet child. I would always say, ‘Come on Kamden it’s time for your van run,” Anderson told AL.com. “He likes to watch cartoons so we would always get him and tell him to come on. He was always happy I never seen him sad.”