CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The mother of a 3-year-old boy who died after falling from an escalator at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport has been charged in connection to his death.
CMPD has issued warrants charging Jiterria Lightner with misdemeanor child abuse after her son, Jaiden Cowart, who fell near the baggage claim area around 9 p.m. on Sep. 25. Jaiden was taken to Atrium Health with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead five days later.
Witnesses told FOX 46 they saw the little boy covered in blood and believed he had suffered a head injury. The Medical Examiner's Office later confirmed that Jaiden died from blunt force injuries after falling from a height.
Witnesses described the tragic scene days after it happened.
"The only thing I could see was blood pouring from his head and nose," Krista Harris said.
Harris said she and her husband helped administer aid to the 3-year-old before EMTs arrived.
"My husband used his shirt to put pressure on the boy's head until EMTs finally showed up," Harris said. "I believe he fell between the gap between the glass wall railing and the escalator from the ticket counter down to the baggage and landed on his head."
Another eyewitness, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she was in the bathroom when she heard the commotion and ran out to see what was happening.
"There were two to three people with him calling for help," she said. "They just applied pressure to his head. There was a lot of blood."
"Jaiden's life has been tragically cut short by an unfortunate incident and we would like to honor his name and keep his memory alive," a GoFundMe for his funeral expenses read. "Jaiden is an energetic, loving and playful 3-year-old with a witty sense of humor and an appetite for fun and adventure. Jaiden's favorite cartoons are Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, and PJ Masks."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.