Mother Charged After Baby Found Dead in Unheated Apartment

Thursday, Dec 12, 2013  |  Updated 4:30 PM CDT
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Police investigate the death of a baby girl, found inside a lawndale apartment alone with her sisters ages 6 and 2.  NBC's Lauren Jiggetts  reports.

Police investigate the death of a baby girl, found inside a lawndale apartment alone with her sisters ages 6 and 2. NBC's Lauren Jiggetts reports.

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The mother of a 7-month-old girl faces charges after the infant was found dead this week in a West Side apartment. 

Erica Hampton, 25, was charged Thursday with two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment and one count of felony child endangerment resulting in death, police said.

Hampton was questioned by police earlier in the day and taken into custody, police said, after it was determined her three young children were left unattended. She was scheduled to appear in bond court Friday.

The Chicago Fire Department said the infant was removed Wednesday from an apartment building at 3729 W. 13th Street at around 3:37 p.m.

Witnesses said they saw the child being carried out of the building by emergency personnel. 

Two older siblings, aged 2 and 6, were also inside the home.

The eldest girl reportedly went to a neighbor's home to ask for food, and the neighbor discovered the baby sitting in a car seat in a snowsuit, and wrapped in blankets.

"It's hard, it really is. It's sad to believe that a baby lost her life," neighbor Patrice Watkins said.

Authorities said the apartment was unheated, but initial reports that the baby had frozen to death were not accurate.

The child was taked to Mt. Sinai Medical Center and was pronounced dead. The older girls were also taken to the hospital for observation, but were uninjured.

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