Tracey Nix, a 65-year-old grandmother from Florida, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter following the hot-car death of her seven-month-old granddaughter, Uriel Schock, on November 1.
The incident occurred less than a year after the death of her other grandchild. Nix’s toddler grandson drowned in a pond while she was napping.
The deceased infant was found in the back seat of Nix’s SUV, which was parked with all its windows closed outside her Wauchula home. On that day, temperatures in the small town reached into the 90s. Nix, a former school principal, was inside the house, talking to her dog and practicing piano.
She told police that after returning home from lunch with friends, she had “just forgotten” about her granddaughter. This detail was noted in an affidavit from the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office.
It was only when another grandchild arrived that she remembered Uriel had been in the SUV all afternoon. Nix’s husband, Nun Ney Nix, discovered the unresponsive infant and attempted CPR, but she could not be revived.
Uriel’s mother, Kaila Nix, expressed her anguish to ABC Action News, while her partner, Drew Schock, questioned how anyone could forget a child.
Uriel’s death occurred 11 months after her 16-month-old brother, Ezra, drowned in a pond while under the care of their grandmother. In that incident, Nix had reportedly fallen asleep on the couch.
When she awoke, she was unable to find her grandson so she called her husband for help. Ezra was later found unresponsive in the water outside the house.
After Ezra’s drowning, Kaila and Drew said they didn’t trust Tracey and wouldn’t let their eldest child, aged 4, visit her. However, Kaila, who wanted her mother in her life, said she believed in second chances. When she learned her son’s death was ruled accidental, she felt relieved. On November 22, she left her daughter in her mother’s care because she knew and trusted the people her mother was having lunch with.
However, a few hours later, an officer from the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office arrived at her home to inform her that her baby was dead. Tracey Nix’s lawyer, William Fletcher, described the hot-car death as “obviously an accident.”
If found guilty of aggravated manslaughter, Nix could face anywher between 12 and 30 years in prison. Kaila Nix, torn between her roles as daughter and mother, said she believes her mother should go to prison.