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UPDATE: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office investigating death of infant left in a car at a campground

Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) detectives are still investigating exactly how an infant died at a campground after the baby was left in a car overnight. Investigators say an autopsy was done but the results were inconclusive. They area waiting for toxicology tests to come back in order to officially determine the infant's manner of death in this case.

Posted: Aug 16, 2019 4:13 PM
Updated: Sep 2, 2019 3:53 PM

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif.-- Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) detectives are still investigating exactly how an infant died at a campground after the baby was left in a car overnight. Investigators say an autopsy was done but the results were inconclusive. They area waiting for toxicology tests to come back in order to officially determine the infant's manner of death in this case.

Deputies said on Thursday, August 15, 2019, at about 9:21 a.m., Deputy Mike Burns and a sergeant responded to a report of an infant not breathing at the Twin Arrows Campground, a rural Siskiyou County site south of Siskiyou Lake and several miles southwest of the City of Mount Shasta. Sergeant Ben Whetstine arrived and found the 7-month old child unresponsive. Sergeant Whetstine started CPR on the child for several minutes until Mount Shasta Ambulance and Mount Shasta Fire Department (MSFD) first responders got on scene. MSFD firefighters continued CPR while the ambulance transported the infant to Mercy-Mount Shasta Hospital. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Investigators said the baby's mother and her companion were visiting the area from out-of-state. They were released, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said its Major Crimes Unit responded to the campground and later, the hospital to conduct a criminal investigation into the child’s death, along with the investigating deputy. Investigators said a 2 year-old child and the baby were left in a car while the mother and a companion were sleeping in a nearby tent. The mother reportedly checked on the baby during the night but found the child unresponsive in the morning. Siskiyou County Child Protective Services (CPS) took custody of the 2 year-old. An autopsy was conducted on August 16, 2019 to help detectives determine a cause and manner of death in the case. Although the autopsy results were inconclusive, investigators are waiting for toxicology tests for the child to return before determining a final cause and manner of death in the case, in consultation with SCSO’s criminal pathologist and Chief Deputy Coroner.

Investigators said although it is anticipated criminal charges will be filed in this case, detectives are waiting for the toxicology test to return before submitting the case to the Siskiyou County District Attorney. Charges may be filed against the child’s mother and companion in this case. Possible charges could potentially involve child neglect, child endangerment, and even involuntary manslaughter but that will depend on the final recommendations made after the investigation is complete and submitted to the district attorney.

This case is still under investigation and anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.

(Update: September 2, 2019 at 12:45pm)


Police are looking into the death of an infant at a campground in rural Siskiyou County. 

Deputies responded to a call of an infant not breathing at the Twin Arrows Campground around 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

Deputies began CPR while waiting for an ambulance. 

The infant was taken to Mercy-Mt. Shasta. The child did not survive. 

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office says the mother placed the 7-month-old baby and a 2-year-old child inside a car, while the mother and the person with her stayed in tent nearby. 

Both adults were visiting from out-of-state. Both were release, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. 

An autopsy on the child was done Friday. The Sheriff's Office says the results were "inconclusive." Police are still waiting on toxicology results. 

The Sheriff's Office is reviewing possible child neglect charges against the mother and her companion. 

The case is still under investigation. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff's Office at (530) 841-2900.

(Initial report: August 16th, 2019)

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