Medical examiner says toddler who died of neglect covered in human waste, maggots

Updated:

SEATTLE —

A 37-year-old woman who is a Tulalip tribal member was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal mistreatment related to death of one daughter and the neglect of her second daughter.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Christina Carlson was indicted Tuesday.

According to a criminal complaint, on Oct. 8, 2012, emergency crews were called to an address on Marine Drive Northeast on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation where Carlson was performing CPR on her 19-month-old daughter, Chantel Craig, who was unresponsive on a blanket on the ground. 

Court documents said the child was unconscious, not breathing and covered in urine and feces. 

Police said a second child, 33-month-old Juanita Craig, was found strapped in her car seat in a nearby vehicle.  Documents said she, too, was unresponsive and covered in urine and feces, but she later recovered at a hospital.

Chantel Craig died and the Snohomish County medical examiner classified the manner of death as homicide by parental neglect. 

According to the report, the girl was malnourished, dehydrated and weighed 19 pounds.  Her skin in the diaper area had deteriorated and was infested with maggots.  Her hair was infested with lice.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Carlson had been living in the car with the girls on the property since mid-September. 

On Oct. 8, Carlson had left the girls in the car while she went to use a phone at a home on the property.  Authorities said Carlson may have been away for more than an hour.

About 20 minutes after the neighbors told her to go back to the car and her children, Carlson returned, asking them to call 911 because the youngest child was unresponsive, court documents said.

Carlson has been in federal custody at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac since Jan. 11. 

A second-degree murder conviction is punishable by up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum 30 years in prison for the death of a child.  Criminal mistreatment is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.