A teenager in South Carolina was arrested and charged with murder on Wednesday after he reportedly suffocated his four-year-old half-sister to death before dumping her body in a plastic bin in the woods.

William Micah Hester, a 17-year-old boy from Greenville County in South Carolina, was arrested and charged with murder on Wednesday after the body of four-year-old Joanna Lockaby was found in the woods on Tuesday by deputies, according to Law&Crime.

“I saw blue lights in front of my trees and I knew something was wrong,” Deborah Rice, a neighbor of the family, said when Joanna’s body was found. “It makes you weary of walking out your door.”

Hester, who was known as Micah by his friends and peers, was arrested later that night on suspicion of killing his half-sister via suffocation. Greenville County has not given a possible motive behind the crime, however, saying that the case is still being investigated by authorities.

“Investigators believe Hester suffocated the victim, contributing to her death,” the report said. “Deputies located the victim’s body in a plastic bin behind the home the victim lived in along with Hester, her half-brother.”

Hester’s family has been adamant in invoking the innocence of Hester in the crime, with his father insinuating through his statements that, if Hester had done this, it might have been an accident, the Daily Beast reported.

“Micah would not do anything like this on purpose,” he said. “I know my boy. I can hold up my hand up to the lord and testify that because I know he's a good boy, never been in trouble and he loved his sister.”

Hester will be tried as an adult for the murder charge, and the judge gave orders to hold Hester in prison without bail despite pleas from the family for leniency.

“We've lost little Joanna,” the father said. “We lost little Joanna, I just don't want to lose my son. I'm just asking to have mercy on him.”

This is not the first tragedy that has befallen the family, nor the first loss of a child that mother Krista Nix experienced in recent years: she also lost a one-year-old child, Jojo Lockaby, in 2018 due to Lockaby being left in a hot car.

A teenager was arrested and charged with murder after the dead body of his 4-year-old half-sister was found in a plastic bin in the woods on Tuesday, though it is unclear as to what the motivation behind the killing is. This is a representational image. Max Fleischmann/Unsplash.

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