By Shereen Siewert
A 23-year-old Wausau woman is facing felony charges in connection with the death of her 3-month-old son, who was found dead in the woman’s bed in March.
Wausau Police say Shailey Huron will be summoned Friday into Marathon County Circuit Court to face charges of neglecting a child, resulting in death.
An investigation began at about 6 a.m. on March 30 when officers and an ambulance responded to a home in the 100 block of North Fourth Avenue for a report of an infant who was not breathing. The child died as a result of accidental asphyxia associated with an unsafe sleeping environment, according to autopsy results.
Investigators say Huron invited two men, age 18 and 22, to her home on the evening prior to the boy’s death. During the evening, Huron and the 18-year-old man drank alcohol and used marijuana before going to bed, placing the infant in the bed with them.
Huron awoke to find her son unresponsive, according to a Wausau Police Department news release issued Friday.
Police say Huron was previously warned not to co-sleep with her infant and warned by a hospital nurse a pediatrician and a public health nurse about the dangers involved. In addition, the release states, Huron was given educational material on safe sleeping habits for future reference.
“Any individual responsible for a child’s welfare must provide necessary care,” Wausau Police Capt. Ben Graham said, in a news release. “Negligence that seriously endangers the physical health of a child is neglect.”
Graham said the child’s death is a tragedy.
“According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States of sleep-related infant deaths,” Graham said. “Some of those deaths, like this one, could have been prevented.”
To learn about what a safe sleep environment looks like, police encourage the public to talk with a pediatrician, a public health nurse with the Marathon County Health Department, or consider resources provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Additional details are due to be released Friday. Huron’s initial court appearance is set for 2 p.m.