WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — A Florida mother has been charged in the death of her 8-month-old daughter.
A Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release says 19-year-old Jada LeBoeuf was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated manslaughter. Her daughter, Journey LeBeouf, died in February after being left unattended for nearly five hours.
An arrest affidavit says Journey lived with her mother, aunt and maternal grandparents in Winter Haven. Family members last saw Journey alive in the evening as they went to bed. Deputies say LeBoeuf would typically sleep on a couch in the living room, and Journey would sleep in a car seat near her mother.
Deputies say the woman left the home around 12:45 a.m. February 13 and went to a hookah bar in Orlando, returning home hours later. The baby was left asleep on the couch because the woman didn’t want to awaken anyone else in the home, she told detectives.
Officials say she found the baby on the couch, tangled in the blanket and unresponsive.
“This terrible tragedy was 100% preventable. It is beyond comprehension how a mother could leave her child alone for five hours. That beautiful little baby girl should be alive today,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
An autopsy determined the cause of death was suffocation.
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