March 9, 2012
Virginia Beach prosecutors have dropped a felony child neglect charge in the death of an infant whose body was found in a parking garage.
Media outlets report that prosecutors withdrew the charge against 33-year-old Lawrence Ray Smith Jr. on Thursday. Commonwealth's Attorney's Office spokeswoman Macie Pridgen attributed the decision to a lack of evidence. She says prosecutors can refile the charge.
Smith still faces a charge of concealing 11-month-old Janyiha Whiteman's body. He is scheduled to appear in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on April 3.
Police say the mother left the baby in Smith's care after she was jailed for a parole violation. The child was reported missing on Oct. 6. Her body was found in an Oceanfront garage on Oct. 21.