Baby Grace’s Death Ruled Homicide, Mom Could Face More Charges


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The autopsy for Baby Grace Carlson Santa Cruz was conducted Friday after crews found her body in the Socastee creek Thursday afternoon.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler ruled her death a homicide and remains under investigation.

Grace’s mother, Sarah Toney told police she lost the child in a Socastee creek on Tuesday. It was a neighbor who called the police Tuesday morning. In the call, the neighbor said Sarah Toney showed up on her back porch soaking wet.

The caller was audibly shaken by her encounter with Toney. “She said she went into the river with a baby, and now she doesn’t have a baby with her. And I don’t know if she’s delusional, but, I mean, I live on a creek, and she just like showed up on my back porch, soaking wet. So I thought maybe, you know, maybe she was in a fight with someone, and she tried to cross the river from the other neighborhood? I have no idea,” said the caller on the 911 recording.


Police arrested Toney on an outstanding, unrelated charge on Tuesday. She was charged with unlawful neglect towards a child on Wednesday. On Thursday during her bond hearing, the judge denied Toney bond. Horry County police Lt. Raul Denis said, “The criminal investigation will continue, and we will confer with the Horry County solicitor’s office, to make sure that appropriate criminal charges are filed in this case.”

Count on News13 to keep you covered in the ongoing investigation.

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