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Baby dies after mother puts her inside oven, mistaking it for a crib

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Feb 16, 2024 8:48 pm

An infant in Missouri, US suffered a grim fate at the hands of her own mother after she was placed inside an oven that was mistaken for a crib.

In a report by The Guardian, the baby's mother, Mariah Thomas, had been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after authorities arrived at the scene and saw the baby not breathing and with apparent burn marks.

According to a witness, Thomas had "put the child down for a nap and accidentally placed her in the oven instead of the crib." However, it wasn't made clear how that mistake was made.

A report from The Daily Beast meanwhile detailed that a close friend of Thomas, who chose not to be identified, said that the mother had been "dealing with mental illnesses since [she was] a child" but had stopped taking medication for her conditions while pregnant with her baby Za’Riah.

When asked if Thomas started taking her medication again after the baby was born, the relative revealed, "She said, 'No.' And I said, 'But you not pregnant no more.' And that’s when she laughed, and I said that’s not funny," she said.

In the month since giving birth, Thomas' mental health started detoriating and she began feeling "lonely."

"She thought everyone only likes her because her daughter was born, and she didn’t like that at all," the friend said. "She wanted everyone’s attention, too, just like Za’Riah was getting attention."

Despite this, Thomas "didn’t mean to hurt her baby" and that she "loved her baby dearly."

The infant was pronounced dead at the scene, with her onesie reported to have "melted into her diaper."

In a statement, Jackson County prosecuting attorney Jean Peters Baker acknowledged the "gruesome nature of this tragedy."

"Our hearts are weighted by the loss of this precious life. We trust the criminal justice system to respond appropriately to these awful circumstances," he said.