Grandmother Charged in Death of Baby

Woman ‘accidentally’ sat on baby – charged 2 years later

From the Post Gazette

Pittsburgh police charged a Homewood woman with involuntary manslaughter almost two years after she accidentally sat on her infant granddaughter, suffocating her.

Instead of calling 911 when she realized what had happened, police said, Elane Springs, 49, removed the 1-month-old’s clothes and patted her with water in an attempt to revive her. The baby’s mother called 911 when she arrived at Ms. Springs’ house more than four hours later.

Ms. Springs also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and tampering with evidence in the Sept. 18, 2008, death of her granddaughter, Tyjahe, whom she was baby-sitting at her home in the 1500 block of North Homewood Avenue.

She told detectives she laid Tyjahe on the couch about 10:20 p.m. the night before so she could go to sleep and used a pillow from her bedroom to keep the baby from falling off the couch. Ms. Springs said she did some housework until she became tired, then went into the living room and sat on the couch next to the baby, homicide Detective James McGee wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Ms. Springs sat on the couch until 3 a.m., then got up to use the bathroom.

“When she stood up, she realized that she had been sitting on the victim,” police wrote. She failed in her attempts to revive Tyjahe and said “she could see that the victim wasn’t breathing and was lifeless,” but police said she never called 911.

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