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Kansas City Mother Tells Cops She 'Accidentally' Put Baby In Oven Instead Of Crib

Kansas City Mom Mariah Thomas Baby In Oven

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A mother in Kansas City is facing potential life imprisonment after the death of her child… after she allegedly put the little girl in the oven.

According to a press release from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office, police were called to a residence after a report of a non-breathing infant. Unfortunately the baby, which was found “in the living room lying in a car seat just inside of the front door” was pronounced dead at the scene. But the one-month-old wasn’t a victim of SIDS. This wasn’t natural causes. No, first responders saw immediately the child had burns all over its body.

Per a criminal complaint obtained by People, the little girl “had sustained apparent thermal injuries on various parts of her body” and that wasn’t all:

“She was clothed in a bodysuit over a diaper. The clothing appeared to have melted onto the diaper, and it was very dirty, possibly burned on the backside.”

Police also found a “baby blanket with significant burn marks” on the property. The child’s mother, Mariah Thomas, had apparently roasted her child to death.

Related: Harmony Montgomery’s Father Planned To Dispose Of Body With Blender, Wife Testifies

The baby girl’s grandfather was the first on the scene, per the complaint. He told police he arrived home and smelled the smoke. The child, whose name was Za’riah, was in her crib when he found her, but the burns were obvious. Mariah allegedly told him she was putting the baby down when she “accidentally put her in the oven.”

We cannot even imagine how someone could make such a mistake. This isn’t like setting your keys in the fridge. This is a child. Plus, we mean… the child got burned, so the oven was on! This mother would have had to, presumably, stop and grab oven mitts. We just don’t see how something like this could happen. Just horrible.

Mariah is being charged not with outright murder but with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the 1st Degree, Death of a Child, a Class A felony. This is still a very strong charge — if found guilty she would face a minimum of 10 years in prison and could even get life. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement:

“We appreciate all first responders who worked this scene and the prosecutors who went to the scene in order to issue these charges. We acknowledge the gruesome nature of this tragedy and our hearts are weighted by the loss of this precious life. We trust the criminal justice system to respond appropriately to these awful circumstances.”

Awful indeed. R.I.P. Za’riah.

[Image via Jackson County Detention Center.]

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Feb 12, 2024 16:17pm PDT