Aunt says toddler dead by homicide was ‘the sweetest little boy’

GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA) – When described by his aunt Verronda Canty, Jatin Posey sounds like any other 3 year old.

“He was bubbly, happy all the time,” she said. “He was just the sweetest little boy ever – hugs and kisses all day long.”   

But on Wednesday, Jatin’s life was cut short all too soon.

“She said I think your nephew just died. Your nephew Jatin just died and I just started screaming. I couldn’t do anything else but scream.”

Earlier that night, an incident report says EMS got called to Botany Apartments on Pressley Avenue in Greenwood by 27 year old Grady Funches — who Canty says was engaged to her sister Laneshia Kelly.

“This is somebody that she decided she wanted to marry and spend the rest of her life with. She’s never lived with anybody else before,” said Canty.

Canty says Funches was alone babysitting all three of Kelly’s children – including one of his own – that night. He says he went upstairs to check on them when he noticed Jatin gasping for air. Funches originally told police he thought Jatin was having some sort of seizure but autoposy results prove there was much more to that story. Jatin died shortly before midnight. The coroner ruled the manner of death homicide and the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Funches remains in jail awaiting bond.

“Now our whole family is missing a person because of someone’s carelessness, someone’s wrecklessness, it’s malicious,” said Canty.

But through the hurt, she says her nephew’s happy spirit will never be forgotten. Jatin’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.

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