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Woman charged in death of 1-month-old after allegedly placing infant in oven

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri woman was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after she allegedly told police that she mistakenly placed her 1-month-old baby in an oven instead of her crib, prosecutors said Saturday.

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According to a news release from the office of Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, Mariah Thomas, of Kansas City, faces a Class A felony in the death of her child on Friday.

Police responded to a residence near 41st Street and Forest Avenue in Kansas City’s Manheim Park neighborhood shortly before 1:30 p.m. CST, KMBC-TV reported.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Jackson County on Saturday, police said the baby was in a car seat in the living room of the residence near the front door, The Kansas City Star reported. She was declared dead at the scene.

The infant had burn marks on her body and melted clothing, the newspaper reported. She was clothed in a “bodysuit” over a diaper, police said.

Medical personnel were allegedly told that Thomas was putting the infant down for a nap and accidentally placed her in the oven, Baker said in her news release.

According to court records, the infant’s grandfather told police that he received a call from Thomas at about 1 p.m. She allegedly told him that “something was wrong with the baby and that he needed to return home immediately,” KSHB-TV reported.

The man told police that he smelled smoke when he entered the home and found the infant not breathing inside her crib, according to the television station.

According to the affidavit, the man picked up the baby and asked what happened, the Star reported. Thomas allegedly said, “I thought I put (redacted) in her crib and I accidentally put her in the oven.”

Thomas lived with her parents at the residence, according to KSHB. She was taken into custody and allegedly consented for detectives to obtain a blood draw and to access her telephone data, the television station reported.

“We appreciate all first responders who worked this scene and the prosecutors who went to the scene in order to issue these charges,” Baker said in her news release. “We acknowledge the gruesome nature of this tragedy and our hearts are weighted by the loss of this precious life.

“We trust the criminal justice system to respond appropriately to these awful circumstances.”

If convicted of the felony charge of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, Thomas faces a prison sentence between 10 and 30 years, KSHB reported. It was unclear whether Thomas had an attorney.

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