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Gastonia mother, grandmother charged with murder after child found dead in Asheville hotel room

The Asheville Police Department said it is looking to make contact with family members.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A mother and grandmother have been charged with murder and felony child abuse after a 3-year-old child was found dead in a North Carolina motel, police said.

The Asheville Police Department said in a news release that Chantarica Nasha Matthews, 29, and Inga Torrence Matthews, 50, also are charged with concealment of death. They're being held in the Buncombe County jail without bond on the murder charge. 

Each woman was assigned to the public defender's office, but a specific attorney hadn't been named on Tuesday.

Both women are from Gastonia. 

Patrol officers were sent to a motel on Monday afternoon in response to a welfare check, the news release said. When officers entered the motel room, they found a small child lying dead on the floor and two women in the room. Investigators said the child appeared to be extremely malnourished.

Credit: Buncombe County Detention Center
Buncombe County Detention Center
Credit: Buncombe County Detention Center
Chantarica Matthews

Detectives believe the women and child had been living at the hotel sporadically over some time, the news release said.

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Spokesman Bill Davis said police were still working on Tuesday to find next of kin.

"Even though there has been an arrest in this case, investigators encourage others who may have information about the case to contact Asheville Police," Davis said in an email provided to WCNC Charlotte. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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WCNC Charlotte is choosing to show the mugshots of the suspects in this case due to the severity of the crime.

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