Mother charged with murder in death of infant daughter

Published 6:43 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019

This story has been updated from a previous version to include additional information.

A Beaufort County woman has been charged with murder and felony child abuse in the death of her eight-week-old daughter.

On Tuesday, Adrian Porch, also known as Adrian Mayo, 31, was charged with one open count of murder and one felony count of child abuse inflicting serious injuries. She is currently being held in the Beaufort County Detention Center on a $1 million secured bond.

The charges follow the death of Mayo’s infant daughter, Loralynn O’Neal, who died at Vidant Beaufort Hospital last Friday. O’Neal was brought to the hospital by first responders after the girl’s maternal grandmother called 911 and reported that the child was having difficulty breathing.

Following her death, an autopsy revealed multiple skull fractures had caused traumatic injury to her brain. O’Neal died less than two hours after being admitted to the emergency room.

That same night, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the child’s death, after being notified by Vidant Hospital police. In the course of speaking with first responders, hospital personnel and the BCSO, investigators say Mayo’s story changed several times.

According to BCSO Lt. Jim Vanlandingham, the Beaufort County Department of Social Services was involved with the family prior to the events of Friday evening. He said there were no signs of prior injuries to the infant, and that the injuries documented by the medical examiner appeared to have been inflicted during one event.

While the events leading up to the 911 call are still being investigated, Vanlandingham said the BCSO believes the grandmother may have been in the home when the injuries were inflicted. The child’s father was not home at the time. Investigators have not ruled out further charges for both the mother and others.

“We’re going to let the District Attorney’s office make that decision,” Vanlandingham said. “There may be more charges for her, but I don’t know what it would be at this point. We actually have consulted with the DA’s office from the beginning and basically charged what they advised us to charge.”

Mayo appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday, with her next appearance scheduled for July 18, in Beaufort County District Court. In her preliminary appearance, a judge set her bond at $1 million. According to the Beaufort County Clerk of Court’s office, Mayo has applied to be appointed a public defender.