The 26-year-old mother reportedly left her COVID-ill 3-month-old baby son in the care of her 9-year-old son for hours without adult supervision or food or electricity. Doctors said the baby succumbed to the virus without getting any medical help. An autopsy determined that the infant died of Coronavirus complications. The mother said her son was congested and wheezing. He also had an old man dry cough and was trying to gasp for air. The mother reportedly tried to treat it naturally before going to any doctors.
The 26-year-old mother from Indiana, Madelissa Flores, was arrested and taken into custody on Friday. She is now facing two counts of neglect of a dependent and neglect of a dependent resulting in a catastrophic injury.
The charges stem from Nov. 28, 2021 incident. According to the police officials, an autopsy determined that the 3-month-old baby boy had blood in his lungs and died of COVID-19 complications.
The 3-month-old baby and his siblings (7-year-old sister and 9-year-old brother) were reportedly found inside the family’s filthy home. The home had no electricity and was full with dirty diapers and rotten food. The home had containers of alcohol and antifreeze left on the floor, prosecutors said.
The 3-month-old baby reportedly died while the 26-year-old mother went to a friend to vent about the stress of being a single mother.
Officers responded to the mother’s residence on East 42nd Street on November 28 to check on a baby. The responding officers found a bystander performing CPR on the baby. The 3-month-old was making jerking motions and vomiting, prosecutors said.
The 3-month-old infant was taken to a hospital for treatment, where he later died. An autopsy determined that the 3-month-old baby boy died of complications from COVID-19. His lungs were bleeding and the boy suffered fractures in both femurs, court records say.
During an interview with investigators, the 26-year-old mother reportedly said that she left to go to a friend’s house “because she is a single mom that is under a lot of stress and needed to talk to someone and did not have anyone available to watch her children while she was gone.”
Authorities said there was no electricity in the apartment and that the floor was covered in dirty diapers and trash that included a marijuana cigar and an open bottle of antifreeze.
Previous complaints, made by the Indiana Department of Child Services in 2020 and 2021, said that the 26-year-old mom left her kids unattended for hours inside the squalid home, where her 9-year-old son would be tasked with caring for his sibling and visiting neighbors for food.
The 3-month-old baby was also carried by his 7-year-old sister, who had difficulty carrying the infant and often dropped him, court records say.
During an interview with investigators, the 26-year-old mother said her 3-month-old baby son was congested and wheezing. He also had an old man dry cough and was trying to gasp for air on the day before his death.
The woman also said that she reportedly tried to treat it naturally before going to any doctors.
At 6:10 a.m., Nov. 28, 2021, the mother said her baby was behaving normally. She reportedly went out for four hours to visit a friend “because she is a single mom that is under a lot of stress and needed to talk to someone and did not have anyone available to watch her children while she was gone.” She reportedly got back at 10 a.m. and her baby son was not breathing.
Flores is due back in court for a pre-trial conference on March 31. This incident remains under investigation. This is a developing story and it will be updated as new information become available.