NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The grandmother of an 8-year-old girl has been charged with first-degree murder after the child was killed on Tuesday.

According to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, the girl was found at about 4:30 p.m. with life-threatening injuries.

Patricia Ricks, 72, has been charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse with serious injury.

The 8-year-old was found suffering from severe, life-threatening injuries Tuesday afternoon; detectives said the grandmother brought the 8-year-old to the hospital.

Detectives said, “the child had severe injuries throughout her entire body and head.”

Detectives also learned the girl lived in the 5000 block of Dutchman Road, went to her home and questioned those at the residence.

“It was determined that the 8-year-old juvenile was beaten so severe by the Grandmother that she died from the injuries,” Major Eddie Moore with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said.

Ricks was the legal guardian of the girl, as well as several other siblings, according to the sheriff’s office. Those siblings are now in the custody of the Nash County Social Services Department.

Ricks has since been taken to the sheriff’s office, charged, but has made no statement. She is being held under no bond. Her first court appearance is Thursday.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office said that more charges may be filed.

Nash County Public Schools said that it is sending “additional support and resources to Coopers Elementary.”

School officials said Principal Michelle Griffin reached out to parents to “explain the situation” and offer support. The Superintendent, Dr. Steve Ellis, was also at the school Wednesday.

Dr. Ellis said in a statement, “On behalf of Nash County Public Schools, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family. There is no way to comprehend what they are going through at this time.”

“This has been difficult for many of our students and staff. I am appreciative to our
team for acting so quickly to support the Coopers community, but know it will take time to
process what happened. I want our employees and parents to know there are resources
available to help them make sense of a young life taken way too soon,” Dr. Ellis added.