LENOIR COUNTY, NC (WITN) A father is speaking out after the mother of his toddler son was charged with murder in his death.
Heather Lipscomb of Lenoir County is charged in the April death of her son Ja'Kobe Applewhite.
Deputies say an autopsy recently revealed that the 21-month-old suffered traumatic injuries that led to or caused his death and that proper medical attention was not given.
Taheshia Applewhite looks to a higher power when explaining to her grandchildren that their brother is gone. "They keep asking, where's Ja'Kobe? I just tell them he's playing in God's garden."
Ja'Kobe's father, Jyhkia Applewhite remembers that tragic day in April when he talked with Lipscomb. "When I called she was saying my son wasn't breathing."
With the autopsy showing trauma, Taheshia says, "The only thing I could think of is what could he have done to a mother so bad to make you do that'?"
Jyhkia, who shares two other children with Lipscomb, says he'll never be able to forgive the person that took the life of his son. He says, "She took one of my son's away. It's crazy. I haven't been the same since that day. It's all I think about."
For his second birthday celebration Thursday, Jyhkia and his mother say that they will have a family cookout to celebrate his son's second birthday. They'll also make a trip to his grave and release balloons into the sky in his honor.
Lipscomb appeared in court for the first time on Monday. Her next court date is scheduled for July 22nd.