IN - Infant dies after being left strapped to car seat for 13 hours - Apr 10, 2024

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Clearsky

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Another innocent is gone -- asphyxiated in an automobile, in Lawrenceburg, Ind.
How can you forget your baby for 13 hours????
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The autopsy revealed the probable diagnosis of death was positional asphyxia.
Source:
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What can cause positional asphyxiation (excerpt):
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What is Positional Asphyxia? Babies who experience positional asphyxia cannot breathe because the position of their body blocks their airway. This can occur in several ways:• When the mouth and nose are blocked by something covering them.• When the passage of air from mouth and nose to lungs is blocked because a baby’s head is slumped over or a baby’s chin is pressing into the baby’s chest.
Source:
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Deddens said the infant's mother, Raeleigh Phillips, 22, allegedly left the infant strapped into a car seat for 13 hours. Phillips told police she fell asleep and then found her son slouched in the car seat, unresponsive.
Makes me wonder if the car seat was even appropriate. Aren't car seats for newborns reclining? How would a newborn be slouched while laying down?
 
Car seats have to be installed in the car at the correct angle to prevent the infant's head from tilting forward and slowing down breathing leading to eventual asphyxiation. Babies have unfortunately died accidentally this way. In the car or, more commonly, if the parent removes the entire car seat from the car to allow the baby to keep sleeping and then places it on the floor, which is not the correct angle.

I assume she was charged because they believe she left him in too long and it was therefore neglect.

However-- was she sleep deprived and exhausted and thought they were both sleeping for the night; she thought it was okay to let him keep sleeping in the carseat in the house? And assumed he was just sleeping extra in the morning, before realizing it seemed too long and finally checking on him?

Or was this true neglect (she ignored him on purpose for half a day to do other things, or she left him alone in the car?)

I believe the full story is needed on this one.
 
I can't find anything to suggest car seat was in the car. I think infant was carried into the house in the car seat and simply left the infant for the next 13 hours before his mother thought to check on him. Poor wee little dude.

here is a similar case that I will never forget:

Benjamin Sargent died with his eyes open, fists clenched and strapped into a car seat after eight days without food or water, the county's top prosecutor said Wednesday.

The 5-month-old was dropped off at his parents' house on Feb. 4, wearing a bright-blue snow suit and strapped into his car seat. Eight days later, he was found in the same position, said Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons during a bond hearing for the parents, who are charged with capital murder for their son's death.
Prosecutor: Baby left to die for 8 days - Parents of 5-month-old appear in court to face first-degree murder charges, may be facing death penalty

here is the WS link for that case
IL - Benjamin Sargent, 5 mos, dies of extreme neglect, Peoria, 12 Feb 2008
 
I can't find anything to suggest car seat was in the car. I think infant was carried into the house in the car seat and simply left the infant for the next 13 hours before his mother thought to check on him. Poor wee little dude.

here is a similar case that I will never forget:

Benjamin Sargent died with his eyes open, fists clenched and strapped into a car seat after eight days without food or water, the county's top prosecutor said Wednesday.

The 5-month-old was dropped off at his parents' house on Feb. 4, wearing a bright-blue snow suit and strapped into his car seat. Eight days later, he was found in the same position, said Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons during a bond hearing for the parents, who are charged with capital murder for their son's death.
Prosecutor: Baby left to die for 8 days - Parents of 5-month-old appear in court to face first-degree murder charges, may be facing death penalty

here is the WS link for that case
IL - Benjamin Sargent, 5 mos, dies of extreme neglect, Peoria, 12 Feb 2008

My bold above.
Yes, @tlcya, you're correct -- the mother took the car seat out of the car with the little one in it, and she didn't take him out of it so that he could properly sleep and breathe in a crib. Thanks for setting it straight. I simply assumed that the car seat wasn't removed from the car and the little one was still in it. Anyway, the little guy didn't have a chance being left in the car seat for that long -- you just don't do that, especially when the baby is that young. Poor little guy. This is a bad one. Still SMH.
 
14News.com Ch14 - I’m sorry I don’t know how to link on my IPad

Mother, Raeleigh Phillips, Charged in Death of Baby left for at least
13 hours in Car Seat Emmitt Phillips was left in his car seat while mom
napped after returning from visiting a friend….

She is charged with Reckless Homicide and Neglect of a Dependent. She
was convicted of the second charge in a different case in 2022!


I know being a new mom is hard and you get tired but dear Lord, you don’t
go about your day (or night) for 13 hours without at least checking on your
new born baby!! I didn’t leave mine unattended for 13 minutes

We don’t have any older threads with her name so I guess she went under
our radar on the 2022 case.
 
Positional asphyxia?

This young woman had no right being a mother-- she was too self-centered.

But, this sounds oddly like SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). I hope they get to the bottom of it in a scientific manner.
 
She took a 13 hour “Nap”?!!!!! WTF? Why bring a child in to this world when you’re unable to care for them. You can’t even take care of yourself. For gods sake stop having s** or make him wear a condom!!!! Stop romanticizing the idea of having children. Getting pregnant by some loser wont get you, you’re happily ever after! This is real life, not a g**d*** fairy tale! Who doesn’t check on their infant for 13 hrs???? Sorry I’m ranting, I just couldn’t keep it in any longer! JMHO
 
Car seats have to be installed in the car at the correct angle to prevent the infant's head from tilting forward and slowing down breathing leading to eventual asphyxiation. Babies have unfortunately died accidentally this way. In the car or, more commonly, if the parent removes the entire car seat from the car to allow the baby to keep sleeping and then places it on the floor, which is not the correct angle.

I assume she was charged because they believe she left him in too long and it was therefore neglect.

However-- was she sleep deprived and exhausted and thought they were both sleeping for the night; she thought it was okay to let him keep sleeping in the carseat in the house? And assumed he was just sleeping extra in the morning, before realizing it seemed too long and finally checking on him?

Or was this true neglect (she ignored him on purpose for half a day to do other things, or she left him alone in the car?)

I believe the full story is needed on this one.
If he was only 9 days old he was not going to sleep for 13 hours with no milk or diaper change and some physical interaction. You're lucky if a 9 day old sleeps 4 or 5 hours at a time.

Even as an exhausted mom, you'd check on them way before 13 hours goes by. Unless you were apathetic or maybe drunk, imo.
 
Positional asphyxia in a CAR SEAT? I'm struggling with that. It must not have been an appropriate car seat for this baby?

A mother should truly be confident leaving a baby in the carseat for 4+ hours, or so, and not die of "positional asphyxia".

This baby was left there a long time, but was also deceased a long time before it was seen by medics.
 
Who doesn’t check on their infant for 13 hrs????

It is true, there was no second parent there helping raise the newborn, which isn't ideal and must be very difficult. But 13 hours is a long time.

I defended her, thinking maybe he was asleep an hour or two, she fell into an exhausted sleep for a full night, and then just didn't check his breathing for awhile after waking. But that's really giving the benefit of the doubt

True, newborns don't tend to sleep long, but some supposedly give a really long stretch. I don't know why I want to defend her. I just remember the absolute utter exhaustion of having a newborn, the lack of thinking clearly, and that was with help around.

But who am I kidding. They are probably charging her because of her past history mentioned above and there's probably more to the story. JMO.
 
She might not have known. A lot of people genuinely don't know that car seats are not safe spots for babies to sleep, those ones you can carry in out of the car aren't safe to leave baby in. Ostensibly its so you don't have to wake a baby thats gone to sleep in the car, but the fact is, you should.
but to not check on the 9 day old baby for 13 hours?? 13 hours is a full nights sleep and then some. I've never met anyone that took a 13 hour "nap". If this 22 year old young woman didn't know that infants need to eat and be changed several times in a 13 hour period she had no business having a child. I wouldn't trust her with a pet let alone a person.

I suspect a substance issue.
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Phillips told police that the baby was asleep in the car seat when she arrived home, so she took him inside and let him continue to sleep while she took a nap.

When she woke up, she discovered that her son was 'cold, blue, and limp,' according to Deddens.
Indiana mother charged with murdering nine-day-old baby
 
If he was only 9 days old he was not going to sleep for 13 hours with no milk or diaper change and some physical interaction. You're lucky if a 9 day old sleeps 4 or 5 hours at a time.

Even as an exhausted mom, you'd check on them way before 13 hours goes by. Unless you were apathetic or maybe drunk, imo.
You've put it totally correct, @katydid23. Period.
Those of us who have had babies know (because we have been there & done that) that newborns have teeny stomachs and wet their diapers about every 20 minutes. And if we didn't know that, we learned it pretty darn quick. We also know that they know how to cry, big time, and let us know when they aren't happy. So we figure out what the trouble is -- quickly.
No excuses.
 

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