Heartbreaking story of 4 month old death with peanut butter reference

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 3:23am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

This is just so sad.

The parents didn't check on thier baby for 9 hours after taping a pacifer to his mouth and feeding thier 4 month old peanut butter.


Tape holds in pacifier; infant dies
The infant's mother taped a pacifier to his mouth before a nap and bound him in pajamas to calm him, the parents tell police.
By Jackson Holtz
Herald Writer

LAKE STEVENS - The mother of a 4-month-old boy found dead Monday told police she had taped a pacifier to the baby's mouth before putting the infant down to sleep.
Bonnie Desmond, 19, said she woke up around 11 a.m. Monday and discovered her son, Noah James Petersen, had stopped breathing, according a police affidavit.
On Tuesday, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Mark Roe charged Desmond with first-degree manslaughter. An Everett District Court judge ordered her held on $500,000 bail.
The child's exact cause of death remains under investigation by the Snohomish County medical examiner.
The Lake Stevens woman called 911 about a half-hour after finding Noah unconscious, police said.
Rescue crews arrived but the child appeared blue, a sign he was dead, court documents said.
"The only thing I can think of is I taped the pacifier to keep it from falling out. I didn't know it would hurt him, or I wouldn't have done that," police said Desmond told them.
Using anything to hold a pacifier in place in a child's mouth can be dangerous, pediatricians said.
Desmond and the baby's father, the woman's fiance, 20, cooperated with police, Lake Stevens Police Cmdr. Dan Lorentzen said.
Desmond told police the boy's arrival placed a strain on the couple's finances and relationship, according to court papers.
On Monday morning, the father left for work without checking on the baby because he was "running late," according to the documents.
Police do not plan to arrest the father, Lorentzen said.
A swaddling blanket had been used to calm the infant in the past, the father told police. He referred to the blanket as a "baby strait jacket," court documents said.
On Sunday night, the mother apparently couldn't find a swaddling blanket. Instead, she tied the infant's arms close to his body using pajamas, the father told police.
Desmond told police she had fed the child peanut butter on Sunday. Police found peanut butter and a large soup spoon in the kitchen of the home.
Most pediatricians recommend waiting until a child is about 2 years old before feeding them peanut butter, said Dr. Agnes Wong, of the Children's Clinic of South Snohomish County.
Many children have peanut allergies, she said. They also can choke.
Using tape or any other device to hold a bottle or pacifier in place in a child's mouth is dangerous, said Dr. Carlos Villavicencio, pediatric medical director at Providence Everett Medical Center.
On Monday, police searched the boy's home, a rental apartment in the 2600 block of Lake Drive. They seized baby clothes, adhesive tape and pacifiers, according a search warrant.
Roe said he expected Desmond to return to court today to argue for a reduction in bail.
If convicted as charged, Desmond could be sentenced to between 61/2 and 81/2 years in prison, Roe said.
A child's death is always difficult, and it is especially hard when he is this young, Wong said.
"Any time any child dies it's a tragedy, it's devastating," she said.
Herald writer Jim Haley contributed to this report.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:20am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I would blame this on being young parents. I wish each state would provide new parents with parenting classes. To become foster parents I had to take a parenting class over a weekend as well as CPR/First aide, get a home inspection, back round check and finger printed...they don't require any of that to become a natural parent, and that is who needs the most education and preparation(IMO). It's sad, I bet she didn't even know not to feed him pb either. Because we are educated on these things, we would know not to attempt that(probably until they are 3 or 4(or older)....it's sad, but if the parents didn't know any better, I feel for them as well.
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
Foster Mom to
Cody-10 (seasonal/environmental allergies)
Jordan-6 (also seasonal and environmental)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited June 20, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:22am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

Disgusting. I hope she spends a long time in jail. Taping the pacifier in?? That alone is horrible. And seriously, don't tell me you don't know not to give your 4 month old peanut butter - even apart from the allergy issue. At that age my DD hadn't had anything but breastmilk.
So horribly sad.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:25am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

I replied before your post popped up! I agree - education could be a part of it. But I just can't get over the taping the pacifier in. I can't understand how a parent would think this is okay, no matter how uneducated.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:32am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I can see it happening. At 19, I would never had known what I knew by the time I bacame a mother (at 30). I can imagine a teenager, not knowing any more than I did at that age, frustrated at lack of sleep if the baby wakes during the night when losing the pacifier; coming up with the "bright" idea of taping it place so the baby doesn't lose it and wake. I also wouldn't have known when I was 19 not to give a baby PB. Of course, part of the reason I didn't become a parent at that age was that I knew that there was so much that I didn't know. That is why young parents (OK, any parents) should have access to a parenting class.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:47am
Spoedig's picture
Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

I was 35 and 40 when my kids were born BUT I SURE AS @#$% knew not to tape anything in an infant's mouth (or any age human!!) at 19!
****Mom woke up at 11 a.m. Monday*** She taped the pacifier and gave the baby pb on SUNDAY!
Truly disgusting -- and this is one reason I am pro choice -- what a horrid life that baby had.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:11am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Maybe someone could tape this mom's mouth closed and see how she fares. Completely disgusting. The dad didn't check on baby b/c he was late for work. The mom waited 30 MINUTES after realizing something was wromg before calling 911.
Something is truly wrong with people. If the baby was not wanted and was straining the lifestyle, how about dropping it at a hospital (no questions asked), putting it for adoption, asking for help. The answer is not to be so NEGLIGENT as to cause harm or death....babies are people, some individuals just don't get this concept.
I hope she sits in jail for a long, long time. I think that even a child would realize taping a mouth shut is dangerous. I'm shuttering thinking about it now. Imagine how that poor baby felt. Even if the PB didn't do him in...imagine breathing through your nose all night...at some point crying with your mouth taped shut, pacifier in your mouth... enough...just utterly disgusting.
Poor baby.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:29am
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

C'mon! Was she trying to silence this child? Giving a 4 month PB and then taping a pacifier to his mouth. Not only did that poor baby choke, he probably suffocated. At 19, she should have known what she was doing. In my opinion, she was just too lazy to care for this child 100%. I don't mean to sound harsh because she is probably grieving, but it just doesn't make any sense. Its like taping that poor baby's mouth shut.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:53am
Jen224's picture
Joined: 05/22/2006 - 09:00

Ugh---this is so AWFUL. I just keep shaking my head. Seriously? PB? 4 months old? Come ON--allergy issues aside! I've heard of teenage moms putting chocolate syrup in formula, ice cream for teething, and a bunch of other crazy things, but never PB!
I'd be interested in following this.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 5:53am
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

Just an extreme example of the deep pity I feel for babies every day - babies of complete idiots, cruel, abusive people, neglectful people, and people who don't want them. Sickening... poor little critters. If only all of the good people didn't just stand by and do nothing.
The Darwin way of nature is one mean, nasty thing.

Posted on: Wed, 06/20/2007 - 6:07am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

I haven't really processed this yet....when I heard about the pb it just struck me so hard and really it's probably not even relevant. I was already so upset by it.
But living in the general area of these people I have to say that we have so many resources and information available to us. They make you take a class at the hospital while you are pregnant, they give you gobs of handouts on feeding, caring, etc, at the hospital they walk you to your car to make sure that you have a proper car seat installed properly, we get mailings at the milestone developments listing where your child might be developmentaly - feeding, caring, safety proofing, etc.
My dh and I joked many times about the "baby police" and wondering when they were going to knock on our door to make sure that our mattress was the proper stiffness and that our laundry detergent was acceptable. Seriously we felt that people were looking over our shoulders all the time - giving us tons of information and advice - it was kind of creepy. But not unappreciated.
But my point is that there is simply no excuse for this - not here. And while I am not 19 and my DH had his AARP card before DS's birth - still the amount of unsolicited information from our state was amazing. I had a little trouble breastfeeding at first and man those lactitions were calling me every day and then every week to make sure that every possible question I had was resolved and they made sure I got DS weighed. And you can get infants weighed for free at breast health centers so you don't need to pay your pediatrician.
I think you would have to be pretty self involved and bullheaded to not know the basics of baby care or where to get help or answers. I think my 3 year old would know better than to tape a pacifier to a baby.
As for the peanut butter. I don't think that the doctors do a good enough job advising parents not to give wheat, eggs, peanut/nut, etc. It seems like some people get that information and some people don't. I am very glad that we waited until ds was three - and there are people in ds's circle of friends who also waited and knew to wait and others who had no idea. Why is that?
I think the father should be prosecuted too.


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