Two teenage babysitters from Massachusetts are facing serious charges after a video reportedly shows the girls placing a baby they were watching, inside a fridge and then closing the door.
The two girls, whose names are not being released because they are juveniles were arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 9, in Danvers, Massachusetts.
They were charged with child endangerment, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to NBC.
In the video posted on Snapchat, the footage shows the girls placing the baby inside the fridge, before closing the door and laughing. The baby’s screams can be heard even through the closed fridge door. A few moments later, they do end up opening the fridge again and removing the baby.
“This past evening at approximately 9:30 p.m., Danvers officers were notified by Swampscott police about a potential situation,” Danvers Police Chief Patrick Ambrose said.
It’s not clear exactly how long the baby was inside the closed fridge.
The mother of the 8-month-old baby girl, however, told WBZ-TV one of the teens, a 15-year-old, is her niece.
She said she was in the shower when she left the baby with her niece and 14-year old friend for 30 minutes. She had no idea the incident happened until later when she saw the video posted by police.
“I didn’t understand why they would do that. I didn’t know and they didn’t tell me. I was very angry,” the baby’s mother told WBZ-TV.
The mother said the girls told her a “believable” story about what occurred, saying that they were reaching into the fridge to grab a bottle to stop the baby from crying. But the video show’s a different story.
“I was just traumatized by it,” the mother said. “My eyes were bulging out of my face.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 8, they were sent to Salem juvenile court and were later released to their parents.
According to the mother, the girls were joking and she didn’t believe they truly wanted to harm the baby.
“It was their stupidity. I feel like they learned a lesson and would never do it again. My niece is a good-hearted girl who wouldn’t hurt a fly,” she told WBC-TV.
The incident is being investigated by the Department of Children and Families, Danvers Police and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
Essex District Attorney spokesman Steve O’Connell told Boston Herald “The refrigerator was the dangerous weapon.”
The Department of Children and Families said it has received a report on the situation and “is investigating in collaboration with law enforcement,” according to the Boston Herald.
The mother said her baby is fine but will now be worried about leaving her with anyone again in the future. The girls are both from Swampscott originally.
Penn. Woman Accused of Leaving Baby in Drug-Filled Hotel Room
By Epoch Newsroom
A Pennsylvania woman is being accused of abandoning a baby in a hotel room, according to a press release from the Bensalem Police Department.
Erica Avila-Lopez, 34, allegedly left her baby alone in a room at the Knights Inn Hotel in Feasterville-Trevose in late July, CBS Philly reported. Her 7-month-old child was found when a maid came to clean the room the next day.
The maid saw him “wedged underneath” the hotel bed, officials said. “The baby was found in his own urine and hadn’t eaten for a while, crying,” said Bensalem Township Police Director Fred Harran.
Police said that crack cocaine and heroin were found strewn throughout the room.
“The child was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital by Bensalem Rescue Squad to be evaluated,” according to the press release. “It does not appear that the child suffered any injuries. There were narcotics and drug paraphernalia in plain view inside the room.”
Video footage showed Avila-Lopez leaving the room on Saturday—but the child wasn’t found until Sunday.
“Why someone would leave a 7-month-old and in that condition is beyond me, but 31 years doing this job I [stopped] trying to figure people out a long time ago,” said Harran, CBS Philly reported.
They found her sometime later, and she’s now at a medical facility under police custody.
Last September, while she was pregnant with the child, Avila-Lopez led police on a chase through Philadelphia. Two officers nearly shot her, ending the chase.
“If you’re engaging in negative contact with the police and you are pregnant. There has got to be something wrong with you. Maybe at the end of the day this is the best thing that ever happened to this child,” added Harran.
She was charged with endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person, and narcotics offenses.
According to CBS, while DHS has the 7-month-old child, a relative in Florida was contacted to take custody of the child.