Baby left in car for an hour dies

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A 6-week-old boy died late Thursday night after being left in the back seat of his mother's car for an hour as the heat index soared above 100 degrees.

Lisa Marie Morris, 25, of the 2400 block of Patrick Avenue, Hephzibah, was arrested Thursday and is facing a charge of felony murder, said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Ken Rogers.

Investigator Thelma Gilchrist said the child, whose name wasn't released, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital in critical condition Thursday afternoon. Sgt. Rogers said the child died at 10:04 p.m.

Investigator Gilchrist said the baby was left in Ms. Morris' vehicle from about 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. outside Ms. Morris' home. She said the mother apparently forgot the child was inside the car, which had its windows rolled up.

Investigator Gilchrist said police were informed about 2:30 p.m., after Ms. Morris took the infant to MCG.

Ms. Morris told police she had returned home from taking her 4-year-old daughter to the doctor's office and asked her cousin "where's the baby," Investigator Gilchrist said.

After her cousin said she was unaware of the infant's whereabouts, Ms. Morris said she checked the rear seat of her black, 2000 Dodge Neon, Investigator Gilchrist said.

"She told us that the child was unresponsive and was blowing bubbles through his nose and mouth," Investigator Gilchrist said.

The temperature at Augusta's Bush Field Airport at noon Thursday was 95 with a heat index of 104, said Tim Hawks, a National Weather Service meteorologist in West Columbia, S.C. Thursday's high temperature was 101 at 3 p.m., he said.

Police said the child's father and another man were inside the residence, but the father was asleep. Ms. Morris told authorities she and the father had been arguing, which could have caused her to become disoriented.

Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said an autopsy is scheduled for this morning at the Augusta GBI crime lab.

THE CHRONICLE BROKE THIS STORY ON ITS WEB SITE AT 8:37 P.M. THURSDAY.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (267) Add comment
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bigjimjohnstowns
0
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bigjimjohnstowns 08/08/08 - 10:28 am
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32, and you my friend are as

32, and you my friend are as big an idiot as she is. More "important" things disoriented her enough to leave her child. All you puking bleeding hearts--this is what is wrong with this country. No one wants accountability, Oh, poor, poor thing! BSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

christian134
2
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christian134 08/08/08 - 10:28 am
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Turning around and walking

Turning around and walking away for a minute or two at the most can be considered accident but an hour in the car left to boil...No that is inexcusable...Most inexcusable....

dani
13
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dani 08/08/08 - 10:28 am
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There is too much concern

There is too much concern being shown for a neglectful (or criminal) mother and not enough feelings for helpless infant broiling to death in a hot car.
Are we to think that children have no feelings! Abuse them, cook them, drown them, but never blame the caretaker.

sueboo418
55
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sueboo418 08/08/08 - 10:44 am
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2cents has a point. If the

2cents has a point. If the baby is asleep and quiet and there is allot of confusion going on...........but it is such a shame. I hated it when my kids were babies and I had to turn the car seat around in the back seat because I could not see them. They did not have those mirrors that they have now. I cheated and put their car seats up front before I was suppose to by law but I still had it facing backward like I was suppose to. I was not comfortable with my babies in the back seat facing AWAY from me and not being able to see them. Of course If I'd have gotten pulled over or had a wreck I would probably STILL be in jail for having them in the front in stead of the back. I never forgot either one of mine in the car but this is such a trajedy all around.

PTHS2
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PTHS2 08/08/08 - 10:49 am
0
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Oh well, if nothing else it's

Oh well, if nothing else it's one less to fail the CRCT

Rob Pavey
561
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Rob Pavey 08/08/08 - 10:49 am
0
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to drive a car, you must take

to drive a car, you must take eight hours of coursework, pass a lengthy test and obtain a license. but anyone can have a baby in their care. this is a sad story.

Galan Lewis
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Galan Lewis 08/08/08 - 10:51 am
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shamehere knows more to the

shamehere knows more to the story than everyone else, I ask you, are you the father's lover since you "know" so much about the situation?

Galan Lewis
0
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Galan Lewis 08/08/08 - 10:55 am
0
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I can understand that with a

I can understand that with a sick child at the age of 4, and trying to make her feel better, with her being clingy to the mother, and possibly the 6wk old was napping in the back, and she could have thought that her cousin had gotten the baby out, but I still don't understand that for an a hour, no one asked or even thought about where the baby was. Everyone in that house at the time should have been charged as well, not just her. The father, and the cousin is just as guilty as she is.

calihali
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calihali 08/08/08 - 11:00 am
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Yes, you are all correct - it

Yes, you are all correct - it is a terrible, terrible tragedy. However, please remember that the mother of this baby has a family and friends that are hurting. They are not responsible for the actions of their daughter anymore than any of you are responsible for the actions of your children, siblings, etc. Before you make your vicious comments think how you would feel if your family was the one in the news today.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 08/08/08 - 11:04 am
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If there ever was a need to

If there ever was a need to protect Roe and defeat anti-choicers, then this is it. Leaving a person in the car at during the Dog Days -- whether it is a 100-year-old, or as in this case, a 1.5-month-old infant, is 100% malice crime. It is not a mistake. Ms. Morris should be sent to prison for the rest of her natural life with no chance of parole.

keraknightwalker
0
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keraknightwalker 08/08/08 - 11:05 am
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A 6 week old baby boy is dead

A 6 week old baby boy is dead PTHS... your remark is uncalled for.

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 08/08/08 - 11:05 am
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bnichols - My children never

bnichols - My children never got left in a hot car.

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 08/08/08 - 11:07 am
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So what did that kid have to

So what did that kid have to look forward to with parents like this? It's a blessing. He is with God now and won't have to suffer as a mortal on earth.

john
1443
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john 08/08/08 - 11:09 am
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Yes willis, better to suck

Yes willis, better to suck the brains out of the kid in the womb than let it roast. Thaks for the commentary.

Brenda_G
1
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Brenda_G 08/08/08 - 11:10 am
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Some amazing mentalities

Some amazing mentalities posted on here. "If it hasn't happened to me, it didn't happened that way". I hope the majority of these comments aren't reflective of a jury pool. Admittedly I have opinions on cases that have been all over the news; case in point a mother who doesn't report her child missing for 31 days and reportedly parties hardy. It has been heavily reported, and, if accurate, much to the detriment of Casey Anthony. That type of person is more deserving of your ire. That's the difference in an accident and an "on purpose" and both are tragedies.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 08/08/08 - 11:26 am
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There was a similar incident

There was a similar incident in Barnwell (13 miles SE of me and 45 miles ESE of Augusta, Ga.), but luckily that child survived after someone busted the car window open. I am also thankful for the Good Samaritians Act that protects people who smash windows in order to help get infant(s) out of a hot car.

and john, we shouldn't be having the government interfere in women's lives. That is the problem today. The government is blatantly butting into the lives of women and blatantly barging into our medical rooms, and that is especially true with the conservative governments all over the world, including right here in the US. Women know what's best for them, so don't insult their intelligence.

Lank
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Lank 08/08/08 - 11:42 am
0
0
The government shouldn't have

The government shouldn't have to interfere, but they do in order to protect the rights of the unborn. The PROBLEM is not the government, but the women who believe killing their children is a "right". Being irresponsible should not be a right and should not be excused.

stillamazed
1493
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stillamazed 08/08/08 - 11:43 am
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In no way does this sound

In no way does this sound like premeditated murder. And I can't believe the comments on here from some so called Christians.. This woman was definetly guilty of neglect but felony murder, if I was on the jury I would have a hard time with that. And no, stress is not an excuse, as a mother she should have made sure the child was out of the car and not assumed that the cousin got the child out. I can see involuntary man slaughter and neglect but not felony murder. Also, people are making alot of assumptions about they type of people they are and no one knows. and PTHS you are just downright mean. Hope none of your kids ever have any problems, if it happened to you or someone you know I bet your posts would be reading alot different but oh, I forgot it is always easy to judge others.....

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 08/08/08 - 11:47 am
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Lank, the problem is the

Lank, the problem is the government interfering in women's lives and barging into our medical rooms. There is no justification for putting laws on women's bodies whatsoever. That is how more than 266 million women have been slaughtered from back-alley abortions and during childbirth since this nation's inception on 07/04/1776. We need to get the government out of our medical rooms and out of women's lives.

calihali
0
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calihali 08/08/08 - 11:54 am
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PTHS- mine didn't either. I

PTHS- mine didn't either.

I am saying that her family and friends are hurting and they are not responsible for what she did, and the comments being made by all these "perfect" people are hurting them, too. Shall we "hang" you or "fry" you if one of your family members commits an act such as this?

Rose
17
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Rose 08/08/08 - 11:55 am
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PTHS shows his true colors,

PTHS shows his true colors, especiially the ones about that innocent baby. This story hurts. Then I go to an Atlanta tv site, and there are 2 headlines about babies murdered. I have to get away from this for a few hrs. Children don't seem to matter much anymore, just a piece of trash to throw away, and it hurts me to think about all the cruel things done to kids.I will be back later this afternoon.

Reality
3
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Reality 08/08/08 - 11:58 am
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I thought she was on the

I thought she was on the phone and couldn't be bothered to get the child out of the car so she told her cousin to. I have had nightmares that I left one of my children in the car when I parked at work. I hate hearing stories like this, no matter who the blame is on it is a tragedy,

Lank
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Lank 08/08/08 - 12:03 pm
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I would agree that there is

I would agree that there is no justification for putting laws on women's bodies... But the unborn child is a body as well and should have the same rights as the mother.

SIGHER
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SIGHER 08/08/08 - 12:09 pm
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She is 25 yo. Old enough to

She is 25 yo. Old enough to know better. I agree with you, Bigjim, drugs involved. You just do not go off and forget about your 6 week old baby. I don't care how old you are. A new baby is a constant on your mind when you are a new mother. Mental retardation, maybe. Something is not right here. 2cents, that is about as much as your comment "out of sight, out of mind" is worth.

Lank
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Lank 08/08/08 - 12:10 pm
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Anyway, this thread isn't

Anyway, this thread isn't about abortions, so I won't comment on that again...

levi1867
0
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levi1867 08/08/08 - 12:10 pm
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I dont think she did this on

I dont think she did this on purpose it was an accident yes she should have been paying more attention to her surroundings

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 08/08/08 - 12:13 pm
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"But the unborn child is a

"But the unborn child is a body as well and should have the same rights as the mother."

Lank, that will never happen, because one will ALWAYS have more rights than the other. Try all you like, it is impossible to balance the two. Laws/decisions banning abortion means that the fetus will have more rights than the mother. Vice versa for laws making abortion legal.

Lank
0
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Lank 08/08/08 - 12:18 pm
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Ok I said I would stop, but I

Ok I said I would stop, but I don't see how banning abortion gives the "fetus" more rights. The child doesn't have the right to kill his or her mother, seems pretty balanced to me.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 08/08/08 - 12:23 pm
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Thankfully, it won't be

Thankfully, it won't be nearly as warm this weekend.

shamrock
585
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shamrock 08/08/08 - 12:26 pm
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C'mon people ... this is not

C'mon people ... this is not about abortion ... it is about a small, innocent child who died a horrible death. He was only in the car an hour but he suffered a full 11 hours before God took him home. This story is about parenting and responsibility. It is about the severe consequences of failing to put the helpless children entrusted to us at the forefront of our every breathing moment. Is the mother a criminal? Legally maybe, but her punishment right now is probably greater than any court could dish out!

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