published: Friday, January 11, 2013
Woman charged in baby's death
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- Sandra Michelle Jackson, 25, was taken into custody by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office Tuesday.
Jackson lives on Hal Mcrae Loop.
Late on the night of June 6 and early morning of June 7, a 911 medical call for assistance came from the residence.
Avon Park police and the county Emergency Medical Service arrived at the two-story townhouse apartment to find a dead infant, just under 10 months of age. There was no sign of blunt force trauma. Cause of death was not immediately apparent. Because the baby was in full rigor and cold, the boy had probably been dead several hours before the 911 call was made, according to reports. Jackson was allegedly visiting a friend and not at home at the time.
Jackson's other three children aged 4, 3 and 2 were present.
According to the probable cause report from the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, first responders found the apartment it in near total disarray -- clothes strewn everywhere, filthy bedding, cigarette butts and ashes ground into the carpet, food encrusted plates and spoiled food left all over, including on the floor. A baby bottle was found in the playpen filled with applesauce. The kitchen was filthy.
In addition, the house was infested with cockroaches. The report states, "The infestation was so pronounced that within the refrigerator, where uncovered food was stored, both live and dead cockroaches were observed."
The children all showed signs of insect feeding. According to the report, "These areas are best described 'stripping' the outer layer of skin from the body.
The 10-month-old baby was found to have dirt in skin folds of his neck and armpit areas. According to the report, his arms and legs did not appear to be as developed as they should have been. He was underweight for his age, appearing emaciated. The report indicates his body weight at death was only slightly higher than his birth weight. The autopsy showed the child had not eaten for several days, according to reports.
The other children suffered all the same symptoms and signs of neglect, reports indicate.
Jackson has been charged with child neglect causing great harm in the case of her infant son. She has also been charged with negligence without great harm regarding the condition of her other children.
Jackson is currently in the county jail. Her first court date is Feb. 18.
Small Banner Ads