Florida grandmother charged in granddaughter’s car death, less than a year after grandson drowned while in her care
A Florida woman is seeking jail time for her own mother after her two young children died less than a year apart while in the care of their grandmother, one in a car hot and the other in an accidental drowning.
The grandmother, Tracey Nix, 65, was arrested and charged in November 2022 with manslaughter and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, court records show. The charges relate to the November 1, 2022 death of 7-month-old Uriel Schock.
Authorities said Nix left Uriel in his vehicle outside his Wauchula home for several hours after returning from lunch. Nix said she “forgot” the child was in the car, according to court documents.
“How do you forget a little girl,” Uriel’s father, Drew Schock, said in a tearful interview this week with local station WFTS.
Nix told authorities that her daughter, Kaila Schock, asked her to watch Uriel while she was on a hair appointment, the documents show. Nix said she went to a friend’s house that morning and then left to pick up Uriel.
She then went to a restaurant to have lunch with her friends, according to the documents. They left the restaurant around 1:40 p.m.
Security footage showed Nix put her granddaughter in a back car seat and fled, authorities said in the documents. Nix said she drove home about 10 minutes, parked the car and went inside to talk to her dog and practice the piano.
She told the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office it wasn’t like “I was rushing around the house to do anything…I just forgot,” according to the documents.
The court filing says Nix was waiting for her eldest grandson to arrive so they could go out to dinner. After 4:30 p.m., she brought two cups of tea to her vehicle for herself and her grandson, then drove the vehicle into her garden. Authorities said Nix’s husband was in the backyard and the two spoke for about 10 minutes, the documents show.
When the grandson arrived, Nix suddenly said it “came to mind” that Uriel was still in the car, according to the documents. Nix’s husband immediately took the baby out and started CPR while someone called 911.
Uriel was pronounced dead at the scene. The sheriff’s office said temperatures that day in Wauchula reached 90 degrees.
The autopsy revealed no signs of injury. His death was ruled a homicide.
Drew Schock told WFTS he remembered being in the parking lot outside the hospital “trying to figure out what just happened. And it actually…twice happened in our life”.
In December 2021, the couple’s 16-month-old son, Ezra, died, also in Nix’s care. Court records indicate that Nix was babysitting the baby boy when she fell asleep. The child wandered outside and drowned in a pond near her home. She has not been charged in the incident.
Kaila told the news station that she was six months pregnant with Uriel at the time of her son’s death. The couple also have an older child. She said she didn’t initially trust her mother to watch over her children after Ezra’s death, but believed in second chances.
“We were anxious, but I loved my mom. And I’m a girl who wanted her mommy,” she tearfully said. “When I was told that Ezra’s death was an accident, a little part of me was like, ‘OK. Well, I have to keep this mom, this grandma.'”
Kaila said she knew her mom was taking Uriel to lunch with her friends. A few hours later, a sheriff’s deputy came to Kaila’s house and broke the heartbreaking news.
“Two kids now that are gone,” Drew said. “Someone has to answer for that.”
“She needs to go to jail,” Kaila told the news channel. “As a daughter, it kills me to say it. As a mother, I demand it.
Authorities said Nix’s negligence resulted in the deaths of both children. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 2, according to court records.