NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Nash County grandmother is accused of killing her 8-year-old granddaughter.

The Sheriff’s Office has charged 72-year-old Patricia Ricks with first degree murder and felony child abuse.

Ricks is currently being held without bond.

“A juvenile from [the] Dutchman Road [home] called us and said their grandmother was on the way to the hospital,” explained Captain Robert Bowen with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

When Ricks got to UNC Nash in Rocky Mount on Tuesday afternoon, he said the 8-year-old was already dead. 

“She was beaten so severely, that she died as a result of her injuries. The child had injuries throughout her body and head,” said Bowen.

Court documents indicate the child suffered from blunt force trauma. 

Deputies worked all day Wednesday to continue gathering evidence from the house. 

They said that was where the child was beaten.

“Items [found] were used as weapons at the residence,” said Bowen. 

Investigators told CBS 17 within the past month, Nash County’s Social Services had received an allegation of abuse at the home. They were in the middle of looking into the claim. 

Ricks was the legal guardian of the 8-year-old girl, and five other children who were located at the house.

“When I walk my dog in the evenings, I can hear [the kids] playing down the road. There’s quite a few of them,” said Ricardo Garcia, a neighbor.

Deputies said the children’s parents were still alive, but custody had been granted to Ricks. 

They were taken to the hospital to get checked out. Deputies say they were treated and released to the care of Social Services. 

Coopers Elementary School is just three miles away from where the little girl lived. School officials released a statement Wednesday. 

Administrators noted the “untimely death of one of their students.”

Nash County Superintendent, Dr. Steve Ellis, wrote, in part, “This has been difficult for many of our students and staff.”

He added that “resources are available to help them make sense of a young life taken away too soon.”

Deputies told CBS 17 this is still an active investigation.

Ricks is expected to make her first court appearance Thursday morning.