An Arkansas mother whose son starved to death in 2016 is once again behind bars after her 9-month-old daughter reportedly choked on a child car seat buckle and died.
On Thursday, 22-year-old Summer Rose Kazzee was arrested on negligent homicide charges, according to Garland County Jail records. She is facing misdemeanor charges for the August death of her 9-month-old baby, the Sentinel Record reports.
This is the second child of Kazzee’s to die in her care. On Jan. 24, 2018, Kazzee was convicted of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor for the 2016 death of her newborn son, who had starved to death. She was sentenced to three years in prison but was later paroled, the Record reports.
According to a probable cause affidavit, on Aug. 17, authorities responded to a home in Hot Springs for reports of an unresponsive child. Upon arrival, police found Hot Springs Fire Department personnel performing CPR on the 9-month-old victim (who had a twin). She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the paper reports.
During an interview with detectives, Kazzee said that at 3 p.m. she tried to put the twins down for a nap on a bed, but when the girl refused to stay on the bed, she placed her in a child’s car seat on the floor, the affidavit states.
Kazzee said she strapped both top and bottom straps of the seat and her daughter began “rocking herself to sleep.” She left the children in the bedroom, with the door closed, and went to the living room.
An hour and a half later, Kazzee went to check on the children and found her daughter rocking and “even clapping her hands,” the probable cause affidavit states.
But thirty minutes later, Kazzee said she couldn’t hear her daughter, so she “jumped off the couch” and ran back into the bedroom.
Kazzee told detectives she saw her daughter with the car seat’s top buckle in her throat. Panicking, Kazzee grabbed her daughter, took her outside and called for help.
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In a later interview, Kazzee said she had tied a blanket around the bottom buckle so her daughter “would not mess with it.” Kazzee said her daughter had never unbuckled the seat before.
When detectives doubted her daughter’s ability to unbuckle the seat herself, Kazzee admitted she “may not have buckled it all the way” and that the car seat was used by her daughter when she was an infant.
It is unclear whether Kazzee has an attorney to comment on her behalf. A gag order was issued by Garland County Circuit Court Judge John Homer Wright on Monday, limiting the case’s pretrial publicity.
Kazzee remains behind bars on a $5,000 bond for the homicide charge and a zero bond parole hold stemming from her 2018 conviction in her son’s death.
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