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Mother charged with abuse in death of infant

Annette Smith charged with child abuse in death of infant

Child abuse is a growing epidemic around the globe. It's hard to rationalize, but statistics show a child is abused every 10 seconds in the United States and today, 5 children will die from abuse or neglect. As heartbreaking as it is these statistics are increasing daily.

An infant girl is dead and her mother has been charged "after she allegedly used blankets to muffle the infant's cries."

Today the reported Annette Smith has been charged with "one first-degree felony count of intentional child abuse resulting in death and one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony," according to a Las Cruces Police Department.

Early Wednesday morning, the Las Cruces police department received a call and was dispatched to a report of CPR being performed on 7-month-old infant Shania Smith. Baby Shania was immediately rushed to Memorial Medical Center, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Detectives discovered Tuesday evening Baby Shania's mother, Annette Smith, covered the infant in "several layers of blankets to avoid hearing her cry," the release states. According to reports the air conditioner in Smith's apartment was not being used at the time.

Baby Shania's body is scheduled to be sent to the state medical investigator's office for an autopsy.

Three other children that reside in the home have been turned over and placed in the state's custody. Smith is expected to be "booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center where she will be held on a $1 million bond."

In 2007, Smith was charged with child abuse, according to online New Mexico court records. According to reports, prosecutors reduced Smith's charge to "contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Two months later, prosecutors dropped those charges because Smith completed a pre-prosecution program," court records show.

Per state law, any person "convicted of intentional child abuse resulting in death faces a life sentence."

If you see, hear or suspect a child is being abused or neglected it is your moral duty to report it. Here is a list of state toll-free numbers for specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. For your privacy and protection you can file a report of child abuse anonymously.

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