Many questions loom about 1-year-old’s death in Aiken County

A report from Aiken County deputies is painting a picture of what happened leading up to the death of a 1-year-old on Friday.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 1:49 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 12:03 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - An autopsy may offer more clues on the death of a 1-year-old in Aiken County, But for now, there may be more questions than answers.

Authorities are investigating Friday’s death of Alexavia Aguirre.

Just after 9:30 p.m. Friday, emergency medical crews responded to a call of an unresponsive child at a home on L&L Lane.

Coroner Darryl Ables said first responders found the Alexavia in cardiac arrest, and she was pronounced dead at Aiken Regional Medical Center.

The cause of death is pending toxicology analysis, and it will be several weeks before a final cause and manner of death is determined, according to Ables.

Alexavia, also known as Zay, was about to turn 2 in February. She was a happy and healthy child who didn’t have any history of medical issues.

We know this because the mother, Alexandra Howell, reached out to News 12 to tell her side.

She says she left a domestic situation and was only staying at a home on L&L Lane for a few days before her child died from cardiac arrest.

“I don’t even know what happened to her, and that’s what hurts the most,” she said.

According to an incident report from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the mother told deputies they’d been out of the house and were driving home when Alexavia fell asleep in the vehicle. The mother said she carried the girl inside as she remained asleep and laid her on the bed located in her bedroom.

The mother said she was out of the bedroom briefly and when she came back, she noticed Alexavia felt a little cold at that time but she was still breathing.

Howell said she took Alexavia off of the bed and placed her on the floor next to the air vent to warm up.

Marsha, the homeowner, came into the room and looked down at Alexavia. Howell stated that she then saw Alexavia’s lips were purple and she wasn’t breathing.

Howell and Marsha began administering CPR while she contacted law enforcement. She said she thought her child choked on a blue piece of candy.

The incident report noted that the mother was taken to the Aiken County Detention Center at the request of investigators for pending charges of possession of fentanyl.

Deputies said that was based on evidence of fentanyl at the scene.

Howell told us she puts drugs on her gums because she got her teeth pulled, and it helped with pain and swelling.

“It was not around the baby and was not around the children. It was put up elsewhere, but they did find it when everything happened,” said Howell.

An autopsy was scheduled Tuesday morning in Newberry to determine the cause of death.

Also in the incident report is a series of accounts of where the mother and her children had been when they were out of the house earlier.

The report states that the mother said she’d taken another daughter to a hospital in Augusta due to migraines, then changed her statement, stating that she actually took the child to Aiken Regional Medical Center. When further questioned, the mother stated that she just sat in the waiting room, then changed her statement again, stating that she just drove there and sat in her vehicle in the parking lot, according to a deputy.

No one has been charged in the child’s death yet.