A baby girl from Sabine Parish in Louisiana had been lying beneath the decomposing body of her dead father inside a room with temperature higher than 100 degrees before she was rescued. Miraculously, the 10-month old infant survived.
Authorities said that the baby, Betty Jean Fields, was discovered after her older 5-year old sibling told neighbors on Friday that he thinks that his father, 43-year old Jason Fields, was dead. The man was indeed dead when he was found with the baby trapped beneath him.
Sabine Parish Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers said that Fields was sitting on the edge of the bed with his daughter lying behind him and a laptop sitting on his lap when he fell backward and died. Foul play and drug overdose had been ruled out because the man is known to have a heart condition and have likely died of sudden cardiac arrest.
Rivers said that based on how Fields fell on his daughter and how he did not attempt to get up suggest he died instantly. The condition of his body also indicates he had been lying on top of the child for three days. No autopsy will be performed given the condition of the body.
Field's wife was in jail at the time of the incident because of misdemeanor charges but she was released after an emergency appeal to the judge on Saturday to care for the baby girl and her older brother. The boy did not have any injuries although it isn't yet clear how he managed to survive for three days.
Authorities who entered the family's home noted that it was particularly hot inside. There was no air-conditioning unit, only box fans. Rivers said the temperature when he got inside the house was more than 100 degrees.
The infant had already suffered injury to her skin when she was found. She also had another injury that resulted in a "dark spot" on her body prompting authorities to airlift her to the hospital.
"The baby was dehydrated," Rivers said. "It was able to breath, expand its chest up and down ... We're very blessed that the baby didn't succumb."
The child had seizures when she arrived at the LSU Health Shreveport but her condition appears to have improved as she already started playing with stuffed animals. By Sunday, her condition is listed good.
The child is expected to fully recover.