Father to be charged in infant's death
By ANNE JUNGEN firstname.lastname@example.org Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 12:00 am
The father of a 4-month-old girl who suffocated underneath a bean bag chair he'd placed her in at his Bangor home now faces charges in the death.
Sean Meyer, 27, was arrested Thurs-day for child neglect causing death, but additional charges could be filed as the investigation continues, according to the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department. He is expected back in court Friday.
Meyer told authorities he set his daughter, Evelin, in the bean bag chair on top of the living room couch late Wednesday so she could watch cartoons, according to reports. He then watched television in his bedroom before falling asleep.
He woke three hours later to find the bean bag on the floor and "one foot of the baby sticking out from under the bean bag," according to the report.
Meyer called the child's mother, who had left for a friend's home earlier that night, and his mother before dialing 911 about 2:45 a.m. Thursday. Medical personnel's efforts to revive the child were unsuccessful.
"This was 100 percent my fault. ... I should know better than to have put the baby where I put her," Meyer told investigators.
His downstairs neighbor reported hearing arguing from Meyer's apartment before the girl's hysterical mother broke a window and screamed, "Call 911, my baby's dead."
An autopsy ruled the infant died of positional asphyxiation secondary to unsafe sleeping conditions.
"Judge, not all tragedies are crimes," Meyer's attorney said during a bond hearing Friday in La Crosse County Circuit Court. Meyer later posted his $10,000 cash bond.
Seven children less than a year old have died in La Crosse County since 2005 due to unsafe sleeping conditions, such as sleeping with parents or siblings or accidentally being smothered by a blanket, La Crosse County Medical Examiner John Steers said.
Infants should sleep on their backs and only on firm surfaces, said Fran Swift, parent education program director at Family Resources.
"Never on pillows, couches, armchairs or bean bags," she said.
Cribs should be free of blankets, toys and stuffed animals to decrease the risk of suffocation.
Parents also are advised not to sleep in the same bed with infants. "But many still do that," Swift said.