A beauty pageant queen in southwest Georgia is behind bars after being arrested and charged with the murder of an 18-month-old boy this week, according to state authorities.
Trinity Madison Poague, 18, was charged with aggravated battery, felony murder and cruelty to a child after she was taken into custody in Americus, Georgia on Friday. She remained in the Sumter County Jail with no bond set on Sunday night, according to jailhouse records.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that its agents had arrested Poague after “multiple interviews & an examination of the evidence” in the case. The bureau said that it had been asked to investigate the death of a child by the police department at Georgia Southwest State University, the Americus school where Poague enrolled as a freshman, last Sunday.
“The investigation indicates an unresponsive 18-month-old boy was admitted to the emergency room at Phoebe Sumter Hospital in Americus, Georgia,” the news release said. “Hospital personnel performed life saving measures on the child; however, he later died.”
No further details were immediately released by the bureau, including Poague’s relationship to the child. Local station WTVY reported that Poague has no children.
Poague is a native of Donalsonville, Georgia, a small city about 100 miles south of Americus. She was crowned Miss Donalsonville 2023, according to local news reports and her social media activity. In October, she competed in the Miss National Peanut Festival, but did not place in the pageant.
“Win or lose, I have gained the world throughout my reign as Miss Donalsonville,” Poague wrote on Instagram a few days later. “To me, that is the best thing Jesus could ever do for me. He blesses me in EVERY SINGLE WAY.”
The 18-year-old graduated with honors last year from Southwest Georgia Academy, a college preparatory school in the tiny community of Damascus, according to the Donalsonville News. After matriculating at Georgia Southwestern State University, she was among 22 students named to its President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program, which provides students with academic scholarships, the News reported in September.