Woman accused of killing 7-year-old Alabama boy pulled from burning home

A south Alabama woman has been charged with capital murder in the death of her boyfriend’s 7-year-old son, whose body was pulled from the family’s burning mobile home Sunday morning.

Jacqueline "Pat" Stewart, 45, of McIntosh, is being held in the Washington County Jail in connection with the death of Case Trae Ketchum. Stewart, who was initially held on a 48-hour investigative hold, was arrested on the murder charge Monday, according to NBC 15 in Mobile.

Case died of blunt force trauma, according to court documents obtained by the news station. The documents state he was killed on or about the morning of the fire.

Firefighters with the McIntosh Volunteer Fire Department responded to the family's home around 5:20 a.m. Sunday, where they found the house in flames. According to department officials, they were able to enter the trailer and pull the boy out.

Case was already dead when they pulled his body from the fire.

Credit: McIntosh Volunteer Fire Department

Credit: McIntosh Volunteer Fire Department

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According to AL.com, Stewart was outside the home by the time firefighters arrived. Case's father, Jesse Ketchum, and another child were out of town when Case died, NBC 15 reported.

Police officials in the tiny town of McIntosh sought the help of the larger Washington County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the boy’s death, the news station said. Stewart was initially released from custody but was called back in for questioning Monday.

She left the building in handcuffs, the station reported.

Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer declined to offer more details of the evidence against Stewart but told NBC 15 more information would likely be released in the coming days. A gag order has been put in place to keep those involved in the case from otherwise speaking with the media about the case.

Stewart is being held without bond in the county jail. If convicted of capital murder, she will be eligible for the death penalty.

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