story by staff reporter Nora Drenner
The death of three infants in Sabine Parish over the last three weeks prompts sheriff Ronny Richardson to remind folks children should sleep in their crib or bed, not with their parents.
“It is with sadness that I report that we have had three deaths recently of infants while sleeping in the bed with adults,” said sheriff Richardson in a post on sheriff’s office Facebook page. “ I am in no way accusing or admonishing these parents. Many of us parents and grandparents have probably slept with our babies and were lucky. We at the sheriff’s office simply want to appeal to anyone doing this and not putting the children in their crib or baby bed to realize the possibility of tragedy exists.”
He continued, “It’s like letting your children ride in an automobile unrestrained, it’s a gamble with their lives. I pray for these parents who lost children that God will give them a peace that only he can give. I also plead that others will heed this warning. Our children are our greatest assets.”
According to Sabine Parish coroner office reports, six-month-old Byron Bolton was pronounced dead by paramedics at his Zwolle home on April 19 after his mother woke from a midday nap to find him underneath her. He was not breathing.
The coroner office report on the death of 11-week-old Ethan Ammons, of Pleasant Hill, on April 28 states his mother fed him and put him down for a nap face up in his playpen; when she returned later the mother found the infant face down and nonresponsive.
Three-month-old Tayten Tate of Pitkin died during the early morning hours of May 3. According to preliminary reports, the parents were at their family camp in Many, and they slept with the infant and his two-year-old brother in a makeshift king-sized bed made up of two mattresses put together. Around 5:30 a.m., the mother discovered the baby face down between the mattresses. He was rushed to Sabine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The infant deaths remain under investigation.