South Carolina Father And Daughter Charged With Incest After Their Baby Dies

Published October 30, 2018

“It is beyond my comprehension how this could take place between a father and daughter."

James Travis Brown And Katlyn Lauren Edwards

Laurens County Sheriff’s OfficeJames Travis Brown and Katlyn Lauren Edwards

A father and daughter from South Carolina are facing incest-related criminal charges after their baby ended up dead.

According to HuffPost, James Travis Brown (38) and his biological daughter, Katlyn Lauren Edwards (21), were both charged with incest on Oct. 22.

A press release from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office states that Edwards was arrested on Oct. 22 and was taken to the Johnson Detention Center, while her father is currently serving prison time in another county for unrelated charges.

According to People, Brown will be transferred to Johnson Detention Center to face charges for incest in Laurens County once his other prison term has been completed.

Edwards and Brown were reportedly engaged in a consensual sexual relationship at the time that their child was conceived. The police press release states that both parties confirmed their relationship in interviews with investigators and that authorities found additional evidence that supports their claim.

The child later died at a medical facility in Charleston, S.C., although the circumstances of the death aren’t entirely clear at this time.

Sheriff Don Reynolds said in a statement:

“It is beyond my comprehension how this could take place between a father and daughter. At this time, I can’t confirm the baby died from complications related to incest, however, we wonder if that’s the case We are working with medical professionals and the Solicitors Office regarding that aspect of the investigation and will update everyone if there are any additional charges.”

In South Carolina, incest is treated as a felony offense, and those charged with incest could receive a minimum of one year in prison and a minimum $500 fine. And incest is defined as “carnal intercourse” with any of the following: parent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling (in whole or half-blood).

Laurens County Sheriff's Vehicle

Laurens County Sheriff’s Office/FacebookLaurens County sheriff’s vehicle

Higher-degree charges of incest beget harsher punishment, and it is unclear if the fact that Brown and Edwards gave birth a baby to will play a role in their case. If it turns out that the child did, in fact, die due to complications as a result of the incestuous relationship, Brown and Edwards might face harsher punishment for their alleged relationship.

Children born out of an incestuous relationship are at a higher risk of being born with severe birth defects.

According to Psychology Today, children born out of a non-incestuous relationship have a less than 10 percent chance of being born with a severe birth defect, while those born out of an incestuous relationship have a more than 40 percent chance.

These defects range from physical ones, such as severe asymmetry in the face or a cleft palate, to serious life-threatening conditions such as immune system disorders and hemophilia.

An administrative assistant with the Laurens County solicitor’s office says that neither father nor daughter have entered a plea at this time, and that her office has yet to receive the case for prosecution.

Next, read about the six most shocking instances of incest throughout history. Then, read about Emma Darwin — the incestuous wife of the father of evolution.

Bernadette Deron
Bernadette Deron is a digital media producer and writer from New York City who holds a Master's in publishing from New York University. Her work has appeared in Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Insider.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Deron, Bernadette. "South Carolina Father And Daughter Charged With Incest After Their Baby Dies.", October 30, 2018, Accessed May 18, 2024.