Boone Man Arrested After Infant Dies

Published Monday, March 6, 2017 at 10:45 am

On March 1, 2017, at approximately 11:47 a.m. the Watauga County Communications Center received a 911 call in reference to an infant not breathing at 375 Ray Brown Road in Boone. Watauga County Sheriff Officers responded with Meat Camp Fire Department First Responders and Watauga Medics to assist. The infant was transported by Watauga Medics to Watauga Medical Center Emergency Department and then transported to Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in Winston Salem for medical services.

Hicks

An investigation into this incident started immediately and was conducted by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Watauga County Department of Social Services. Numerous interviews were conducted and information was gathered pertaining to this incident.

On March 2, 2017, as a result of the initial investigation and in consultation with the 24th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Ryan Neil Hicks, 24, and a resident of 375 Ray Brown Road in Boone was charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Negligent Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury. He was arrested and taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where he was given a $75,000.00 bond and a court date of March 30, 2017.

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit, Watauga County Department of Social Services, Children’s Advocacy Center of the Blue Ridge and the NC State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit continued to investigate this incident. Additional interviews were conducted and more information was gathered pertaining to this incident and Ryan Neil Hick’s involvement with the incident.

On March 3, 2017, the infant was pronounced deceased at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina. An autopsy was conducted on the infant and the results of that autopsy are pending.

On March 4, 2017, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in consultation with the 24th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Ryan Neil Hicks was charged with Negligent Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury, Sex Offender Using Social Website and Second Degree Murder. He was arrested and taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where he was given a $1,100,000 bond and a court date of April 6, 2017.

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