A mother has been charged with manslaughter after allegedly leaving her eight-month-old baby at home while she went to a hookah lounge and a McDonald's.
Jada LeBoeuf from White Haven, in Florida, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after she allegedly left her daughter, Journey, unattended for nearly five hours.
Polk County Sheriff's deputies arrested the 19-year-old on Thursday (19 October) when the baby girl was found dead on 13 February after being left alone.
Officers say the woman left her home in Auburndale around 12.45am and travelled over 40 miles to a hookah bar in Orlando and then onto a McDonald's in Kissimmee, over 30 miles from her home.
Police say that Jada had left the house with a friend to get something to eat.
Officers say that Jada had claimed she left the house at 3am and had experienced car trouble. According to the arrest affidavit, the baby lived with her mother, aunt, and grandparents and the family last saw Journey alive before they went to bed.
Detectives say that the baby usually slept in the car seat while Jada slept on the couch. But the baby was allegedly left on the couch and when family saw the empty car seat at 4.40am and assumed mother and daughter left together.
But the child was allegedly left on the couch on a blanket and Jada had left the home without telling family members she was leaving and without asking family members to check on her.
Police say that LeBoeuf arrived home around 5.30am to find the baby on the couch unresponsive and tangled in a blanket.
Sheriff Grady Judd said Fox 13 News: "This terrible tragedy was 100% preventable. It is beyond comprehension how a mother could leave her child alone for five hours.
"That beautiful little baby girl should be alive today".
An autopsy conducted by the Medical Examiner's Office determined that Journey's cause of death was suffocation.