Infant dies after mother allegedly accidentally placed baby in oven, officials say

ByLeah Sarnoff ABCNews logo
Monday, February 12, 2024

A mother in Kansas City, Missouri, has been arrested and charged in the death of her 1-month-old infant after allegedly mistakenly placing the baby in an oven instead of a crib, the prosecutor's office said.

Mariah Thomas, 26, has been charged with a Class A felony, first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, in the death of her baby, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Saturday.

"We appreciate all first responders who worked this scene and the prosecutors who went to the scene in order to issue these charges," Baker said in a press release. "We acknowledge the gruesome nature of this tragedy and our hearts are weighted by the loss of this precious life. We trust the criminal justice system to respond appropriately to these awful circumstances."

Police officers were dispatched to a residence in the Manheim Park neighborhood of Kansas City at around 1:30 p.m. local time Friday, responding to a call about a nonbreathing infant, according to court documents filed Saturday and obtained by ABC News.

Upon arrival, officers observed the infant victim had apparent burn wounds, according to the court documents. The Kansas City Fire Department responded and declared the 1-month-old dead at the scene, according to the court documents.

Thomas alleged she was putting the child down for a nap and accidentally mistakenly placed the child in the oven instead of the crib, according to the court documents.

"I thought I put [infant's name redacted] in her crib, and I accidentally put her in the oven," Thomas allegedly told the infant's grandfather, who gave a statement to police, according to the court documents.

Court records do not yet show if Thomas has an attorney representing her.

If convicted, Thomas could face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison, according to Missouri state law.

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