Warning: This article contains graphic and disturbing details.
A 1-month-old baby is dead after its mother allegedly put the infant in the oven — and she’s been arrested in connection with her death.
According to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, authorities in Kansas City, Missouri responded to the horrific scene last Friday, following a call regarding a “non-breathing infant.”
“Responders observed the 1-month-old child with apparent burns,” said prosecutors. “They were told the mother of the child was putting the child down for a nap and accidentally placed the child in the oven instead of the crib.”
The baby, a girl named Za’riah, was declared deceased at the scene. The child’s mother, 26-year-old Mariah Thomas, now faces a felony count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the 1st Degree, Death of a Child.
Per a criminal complaint (via PEOPLE), the child’s grandfather returned home and could smell smoke, before finding the baby dead in her crib. Thomas told the family member, “I thought I put Za’riah in the crib but I accidentally put her in the oven.”
The infant “had sustained apparent thermal injuries on various parts of her body,” read the complaint — which added the baby was wearing a bodysuit, or onesie, over a diaper, which had melted together. A burned blanket was also found in the home.
A friend who spoke with Daily Beast claimed Thomas “has been dealing with mental illness since a child” and stopped taking her medication while pregnant.
The friend said they asked Thomas about taking them after giving birth “and that’s when she laughed, and I said that’s not funny.”
“She didn’t mean to hurt her baby. She loved her baby dearly,” added the friend, who believes Thomas’ mental health declined after giving birth.