Arkansas Babysitter Accused in Baby’s Death

October 18, 2017 Updated: October 18, 2017

A babysitter in Arkansas was charged in the death of an infant who was in her care, local reports say.

Melissa Garcia-Rivera, 21, was taken to the Benton County jail last week and has remained there, said the Rogers Police Department.

Garcia-Rivera couldn’t get the baby girl she had been caring for to sleep, KWNA-TV reported. The baby was reportedly being fussy.

The babysitter then allegedly placed a pillow on top of the child, who was 8 months old. The baby then tried to push herself up.

The woman then threw another pillow and a fleece blanket on the infant. According to local police, that was a total of eight pounds.

A short while later, she found the child to be unresponsive, according to what she told police over the phone last Thursday, Oct. 12, reported Arkansas Online.

Last Tuesday, Oct. 10, the unnamed infant was taken to Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas by her fiance, Marco Antonio Garcia. The girl was pronounced dead there.

Hospital workers found the child soaked in sweat with a temperature of 100.5 degrees.

Arkansas Online later reported that Garcia-Rivera said she had placed two pillows on top to get the child to sleep.

She reportedly told officials that she “did not understand why [the child] did not kick the pillows and blanket off,” Arkansas Online reported. She placed the blanked over the baby’s head, “just trying to keep it dark so [the infant] would go to sleep.”

An autopsy was inconclusive regarding the infant’s cause of death. No trauma or signs of disease or defect were discovered.

Garcia-Rivera was arrested on Oct. 12, and faces manslaughter charges.

Garcia-Rivera is slated to appear in Benton County Circuit Court on Nov. 20.

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