Mom charged after unused monitor leads to infant’s death

Mug shot of Merisha A. Bradtmueller courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A mother is facing a neglect charge in connection to the death of her eight-month-old son after police say she failed to hook the baby up to a monitor that would have alerted her if he stopped breathing.

Police said Merisha Bradtmueller, 22, of Fort Wayne, called police on July 14, 2013 shortly before 10 p.m. because her baby boy was not breathing. Medics pronounced the boy dead at the scene.

Bradtmueller told police that the baby had a doctor’s appointment two weeks prior and a doctor told her the baby was in good health. Police later determined she lied about that doctor’s appointment.

Officers said the baby appeared to be malnourished and small for his age. According to an affidavit for probable cause, “the house was in disarray with little to no furnishing” and officers found little to no food in the home, including no baby formula.

Police found a “Smart Monitor 2” that looked as though it had not been opened next to the baby’s crib. The monitor apparently sounds an alarm when a baby’s breathing is not normal or if there’s a problem with the baby’s heart rate. Bradtmueller told police she no longer needed to use the monitor on her baby.

According to medical records from the Allen County Coroner’s Office, Bradtmueller should have been using the monitor. Bradtmueller also missed a number of appointments with the baby’s doctor.

Officials said Bradtmueller should have been using in-home care through Home Care Nework but records showed that when staff arrived at Bradtmueller’s home on scheduled visits, nobody was home. Bradtmueller also didn’t answer phone calls from the company.

According to court documents, Bradtmueller was charged with neglect of a dependent. As of Friday afternoon, she was listed in the Allen County Jail.

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