A 3-year-old Virginia boy was found dead in a clothes dryer the day after his birthday.
Authorities are investigating the death of Brantley Lloyd, who neighbors say was found in a dryer in his father's home in Virginia Beach. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.
The boy's father, Chet Lloyd, called 911 at 5:12 p.m. on Aug. 7 and said Brantley had climbed out of his crib and into the dryer while he was sleeping.
"He was unresponsive and covered in sweat and extremely hot," Lloyd told the Virginia Pilot. "I don't know if he panicked and couldn't get out. He had asthma."
The boy's cause of death has not been released but Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Tonya Pierce said Brantley died sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 4:55 p.m.
Lloyd told dispatchers that Brantley was "sick" and "crying" the day prior to his death.
"He wasn't being himself," Lloyd said.
The father told authorities that his son slept on the couch with him for a while before he put him in his crib. Lloyd said he slept in the next day because he had been up all night with Brantley, who was fussy the previous day.
When he awoke, Brantley wasn't in his crib. Instead, Lloyd said the boy had climbed out of the crib and made his way into the dryer, where he found his son without a pulse. He tried to resuscitate him while he called 911.
Lloyd called the boy's mother Amanda Ray that evening, and she hurried to his home, where she was greeted by police. She said Lloyd's story doesn't add up.
Courtesy of Amanda Ray via the Virginia Pilot
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Ray said. “Nothing is adding up. I don’t understand how my baby was in a dryer. I don’t understand how he died.”
Ray said that Lloyd had full custody of Brantley since she moved out over a year and a half ago.
“He died the day after his birthday,” Ray said of her son. “I didn’t even get to say happy birthday.”
Lloyd was evicted in the week following his son's death, and his belongings were reportedly out in the front yard and dumpster.
"They were just tossing everything into a dumpster and not really being delicate with anything," said neighbor Nick Watt.
Brantley's grandparents, Kathy and Ben Ray, want answers.
“I don’t know what happened to my poor baby,” Kathy Ray told the Virginia Pilot. “We want some closure.”
The child's mother said she found one of Brantley's handprints on her glass door. She was able to lift the tiny print and made a painting from it. Ray plans to hang the painting, which has Brantley's hand print along with her own and her other two children's. She said she will look at the painting whenever she wants to remember what it was like to hold Brantley's hand.
No charges have been filed in the case.
Lloyd was in custody Wednesday for misdemeanor simple assault of a family member, misdemeanor damaging property/monument <$1,000 and felony possession of a schedule I/II substance. Police were unable to confirm if his arrest had anything to do with his son's death.
Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She has a degree in journalism and writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.