Felony child abuse charges filed against a Sanford man in January were upgraded to murder on Wednesday after the victim died, Sanford police said.
Drake Hamilton Conrad, 29, of 724 Highland St., was initially charged on Jan. 6 with felony child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury after police received a report three days earlier from UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill about a four-month-old male child who had been admitted with severe traumatic injuries to the head, neck and spine. Police said they “determined that the injuries stemmed from abuse which occurred at the residence in Sanford where both suspects reside.”
Conrad was initially jailed on $150,000 secured bond, but appears to have been released at some point since his initial arrest.
At the same time, 34-year-old Cassandra Lee Conrad, also of 724 Highland St., was charged with felony child neglect resulting in serious injury. At the time, she was jailed on $50,000 secured bond, but no longer appears on the Lee County Jail website’s list of current inmates.
Police said Wednesday that the child died on March 15 while in hospice care at FirstHealth in Moore County. Drake Conrad was arrested Wednesday at Boone Brand Foods, 220 Boone Trail Road in Sanford, without incident.
He was placed in the Lee County Jail without bond.