A GIRL has allegedly been suffocated by her half-brother – years after her baby sibling died.
Little Joanna Lockaby, four, was reported missing in Greenville, South Carolina on July 19.
Cops rushed to the scene just before 2:30pm local time and minutes later they found the girl dead in a plastic bin which was in the woods, WHNS reported.
Medics pronounced her dead at the scene.
Police allege that Lockaby was suffocated by her half-brother William Micah Hester, 17.
Cops have charged Hester with murder and he's also been charged with kidnapping after the girl couldn’t escape the bin, according to an arrest warrant seen by The Sun.
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Hester confessed that he suffocated the girl "with malice aforethought", the warrant alleges.
During a bond hearing on July 20, Hester’s dad William said: “I know my boy, he’s never been in trouble and he loved his sister.”
He said that he “doesn’t want to lose his son”.
The case is being treated as suspicious while investigations continue.
Deputy coroner Mike Ellis told WYFF: “Anytime we find a small child in a wooded area, we treat that as a suspicious death and we work down.
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“That’s to make us not… miss anything.
“If you start looking at it as something other than that, you might miss something.”
Neighbors realized something was wrong when they spotted blue lights in the area.
Deborah Rice told WYFF: “It makes you wary of walking out of your door.”
Hester has since been denied bond.
Lockaby’s sibling Joe, one, died in 2018 after he was left in a hot car, cops said.
He died from suspected heat stroke.
Krista Nix told The Greenville News that the boy's grandma Janik Nix suffered a medical complication while he was strapped inside the car.
Paramedics rushed to the scene but he couldn’t be saved.
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Joe reportedly told his mom that “he loved her” – just days before he died.
Janik pled guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to 10 years in jail suspended to three years of probation.
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