By Shereen Siewert
A 26-year-old Wausau woman was convicted of child neglect in connection with the death of her 3-month-old son, who was found dead in the woman’s bed in March 2020.
Police say Shailey 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. But in the morning hours of March 30, 2020, officers and an ambulance were summoned to her 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, police said.
Prosecutors on Aug. 28, 2020 filed a charge of felony child neglect against Huron who was summoned into court. On Tuesday, Oct. 24, she appeared for a hearing in which she pleaded no contest and was found guilty.
“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 in 2020 called the child’s death 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.”
Huron will be sentenced Dec. 29.