A Florida woman has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after her newborn died in a tragic co-sleeping incident. The charges are derived from the fact that this is the second time the woman has lost a baby in a strikingly similar way. And if this sounds familiar to you, that may be because this is the second mother who has been charged with a second baby’s co-sleeping death this month alone.
Erin Piche-Pitts, 25, of Polk County, Florida told authorities that on October 26, she took her baby out of his bassinet because he was crying. She placed the baby next to her on a pillow and fell asleep. She woke less than three hours later to find the baby unresponsive.
In 2009, Erin lost another baby at only 13 days. She told authorities that she was breast feeding her daughter when she fell asleep. That death was ruled an accident. But this time, investigators say, she should have known the dangers of co-sleeping, having been instructed on it in both 2009 and 2016. Erin had been previously charged with meth possession after a pipe with residue was discovered in her car, but the charges were ultimately dropped after she told authorities that she had not actually used meth in over two years.
Now if you feel like you’ve heard this one before, you might be thinking of 36-year-old Otesia Scott, a Milwaukee mother who has been charged with recklessly endangering the safety of a child. Her 3-month-old son Kelan were both sleeping on a mattress together. When Otesia woke, she found her son cold and unresponsive. However, investigators learned that she’d begun drinking that day in the afternoon. She bounced around from neighbor to neighbor, occasionally leaving the boy in her apartment alone. When she finally retired for the evening, a neighbor that visited her noted that she was so drunk that her eyes were rolling to the back of her head. Otesia declined her neighbor’s offer to care for the baby until she sobered up.
In 2013, Otesia co-slept with another child, 2-month-old Kamari Scott, and awoke to find him dead. Though Otesia admitted she had been drinking earlier in the day, she denied being drunk. That death was ruled accidental, though the Department of Children and Family Services did remove another child from her care. It is not clear if they knew that she’d had another baby.
Image: Polk County Sheriff’s Office