The Clayton County Police Department says it has arrested the parents of a 7-year-old girl who was killed in a hit-and-run on Tara Boulevard on September 4.

Jordan David Wint, 36, and Christal Akuee Williams, 32, were taken into custody Tuesday morning and charged with cruelty to children, reckless conduct, and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

Wint and Williams made first appearance at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning before Magistrate Court Judge Keisha Wright-Hill. Each was granted $30,000 bond and $3,600 in fees. They remain in custody at the Clayton County Jail as of press time. Wint and Williams are considered innocent of all charges until and unless they are convicted in a court of law.

Police say the girl, Keymoriona Williams, apparently was left, with her two nine-year-old siblings, in a motel room at the Magnolia Bay Hotel and Suites while the children’s parents were out delivering food. Wint and Williams left a cellphone with the children to call in case of emergency.

Williams apparently wandered out of the room while her older siblings were asleep. Police say the children had been left alone for about four hours and that DFACS is relocating the nine-year-olds with relatives out of state.

“This incident is tragic in so many ways,” said Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts. “The family is torn apart. Our detectives and traffic investigators are impacted personally and professionally in reference to the impact on the children who will be placed with relatives. Our detectives took time to ensure they completed a thorough investigation before making the charges that led to the parents’ arrest.”

Local activists, outraged by the child’s death, are calling for safety improvements on Tara Boulevard, including sidewalks, street lights, and timed traffic signals to slow traffic.

Community activist Meia Ballinger places flowers at the roadside memorial for Keymoriona Williams in the 6600 block of Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro, GA, October 1, 2022. Ballinger and others say the child might have survived if Tara Boulevard had better sidewalks, lighting, and traffic controls. (Photo: Robin Kemp/The Clayton Crescent)

It’s not clear whether Keymoriona Williams was trying to cross Tara Boulevard or whether she perhaps tried to avoid someone or something. She was hit next to a MARTA bus stop, near a poorly-lit cut that runs under a low-hanging tree between the Motel 6 and a strip mall.

Keymoriona Williams is one of dozens of pedestrians and motorists who have been killed in just the past couple of years along the deadly highway, which has state, federal, county, and local jurisdictions. That means adding sidewalks, for example, requires agreements between multiple governments and agencies, and that takes far more time than a single jurisdiction deciding to put in sidewalks on demand.

Meanwhile, CCPD says it is still desperately seeking leads as to who struck and killed little Keymoriona between 2:15 a.m. and 2: 30 a.m. that Sunday morning.

Anyone who saw or heard anything around 2:15 a.m. and 2:30 on Sunday, September 4, or any driver who might have heard or felt a bump on Tara Boulevard as they passed the area between Southside Industrial Boulevard and Mount Zion Road is urged to call Clayton County Police at (770) 477-3747.

It is the editorial policy of The Clayton Crescent not to publish mugshots of people who have been arrested but not convicted of criminal charges.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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