WESTMINSTER, S.C. — Authorities say a child abuse investigation in South Carolina has led deputies to charge a man in the killing of the child’s sister this summer.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said he initially ruled 22-month-old Gwynee Hess died from accidentally choking on a gummy snack in June.

But Addis reopened the case after deputies determined 25-year-old Matthew Chappell dropped the toddler while she was eating, forcing the gummy into her airway.

Sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Watt said deputies took a closer look at the toddler’s death after her 3-yearold sister was hospitalized with head injuries.

An arrest warrant says Chappell pushed the 3-year-old’s head into an object until she suffered skull fractures and lost consciousness.

Chappell is charged with homicide by child abuse. It wasn’t known if he had an attorney.

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