Indiana baby’s death blamed on car seat straps, court docs say

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An Indiana woman has been charged with neglect after authorities determined that the buckles and straps on her infant son’s car seat were too tight and led to his May 2021 death.

>> Read more trending news

Megan Ford, 35, was charged Friday with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, classified as a level 3 felony, WANE-TV reported.

The child, whose exact age was not immediately available, was measured during a wellness check-up days before his May 26, 2021, death and weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, the TV station reported.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Ford noticed that her son, whom she thought had fallen asleep, was unresponsive in his car seat after driving to her mother’s home about 15 minutes away, Det. Cpl. Gabe Furnish of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department wrote.

Ford told authorities that her son, Kai, had been a “little fussy” when she put him in the car seat, WANE-TV reported.

Ford also told investigators that Kai, who weighed 4 pounds, 14 ounces at birth, had been using the same Graco car seat since he left the hospital and that she had never adjusted the seats straps because she did not know how, the TV station reported.

According to the baby’s autopsy, the medical examiner found a bruise on Kai’s abdomen that perfectly matched where the buckles would have clicked into place, and his cause of death was listed as “probable mechanical asphyxia due to chest and abdomen compression.”

The baby also suffered five broken ribs, but it could not be determined what caused those injuries, court documents stated.

Ford was released on a $10,000 bond Friday and is slated for a Tuesday court appearance, WANE-TV reported.