(NEWSER) – A disturbing development in a case that was horrifying to start with: Police in Maryland say the 3-year-old boy found dead in a park swing as his mother pushed him was alive when she put him in the swing—but that had been almost two days earlier.

The Charles County Sheriff's Office says Ji'Aire Donnell Lee died of thirst and hypothermia at some point during the 44 hours that his mother, 24-year-old Romechia Simms, was in the park pushing the boy on the swing, reports the Washington Post. Police say that when they arrived after a call from a worried citizen, "it was instantaneously clear the child was dead."

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