Sunday, June 17, 2001

Mother charged when baby dies in minivan

The Associated Press

        PADUCAH, Ky. — A McCracken grand jury has returned a second-degree manslaughter indictment against a woman accused of leaving her baby in a minivan, where the child died.

        Wanda Carlson, 32, of Paducah, is the mother of 10-month-old Emily Carlson who died last week after she was left in a hot minivan between two and three hours with the windows closed.

        Carolyn Keeley, Ms. Carlson's attorney, said she remains “confident that when the full story is known, that certainly any compassionate jury from this community would do the right thing, and justice will be done.”

        Preliminary autopsy results showed that Emily died of hyperthermia, or increased body temperature.

        According to police reports, Emily was inside the minivan in front of the family's house between two and three hours with the windows closed on June 7. Carlson was in the house during that time and the infant's father David Carlson — the pastor of Paducah Free Will Baptist Church — was at work.

        When Wanda Carlson apparently realized the baby wasn't in the house, retrieved her from the van and called 911. She was pronounced dead at Lourdes hospital a short time later.


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