FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A 9-month-old baby was found dead inside a large walk-in closet at a home in far northwest Fort Worth just after 10 p.m. on Monday.
“This closet isn’t like a broom closet or some dark little closet,” Perez said. “It was actually described to be a master bedroom closet. It was a walk-in closet,” said Brad Perez, Fort Worth Police Department spokesman.
Police said it appears to be a tragic accident ‘yet they’re deciding whether or not to file charges.
Officers found the baby at the home on Woodpecker Lane after responding to an “unconscious person” call two hours after the child was last seen alive. When they arrived, they found his body in a portable car seat. His caretaker had put him inside the bedroom closet where it would be quiet enough for him to take a nap.
“I think what she was doing was she put the baby down to sleep but did not want to put the baby on the bed by itself because she was afraid he would possibly rollover, so she left the child in the car seat is what she did,” said Perez.
But the lower strap between his legs was left unfastened and baby slipped down and choked to death on the on the straps over his shoulders, crossing his chest, according to the medical examiner.
“What it sounds like is that bottom buckle was never attached,” Perez explained. “So the baby unfortunately began to slide down and the weight of themselves against that strap is possibly what it is it cost him to suffocate.”
Officers said he was there several hours.
The baby was later identified as John Norris of Weatherford. His mother was at work when he died. His baby sitter was watching ten to eleven children at her home in addition to Norris.
Along with homicide detectives, the Fort Worth Police Crimes Against Children Unit was notified.
Child Protective Services said the home is not a licensed daycare. A CPS spokesperson said the state is investigating if the woman misrepresented herself as a daycare and how many children in the home she was paid to care for.
Police said the investigation is continuing. They caution parents of small infants and toddlers to always strap their child in their car seats and carriers as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, and always watch them closely when seated and never leave them unattended.
Investigators do not believe there was foul play but they say they charge of negligence is still possible.
So far, there have been no arrests.