Mom Charged in Death of 5-Month-Old Baby in South Suburb

A 23-year-old mom has been charged in the death of her infant daughter, who weighed just 4 pounds when she was taken to a south suburban hospital and ultimately pronounced dead.

Chequita Bell, of Kokomo, Indiana, was charged in the death of 5-month-old Jazmine Walker, who would have turned 6 months old this weekend. 

On Wednesday, Bell called paramedics to a relative's home in Harvey saying her baby appeared to be unresponsive. First responders transported Jazmine to Ingalls Hospital where she was pronounced dead an hour later. 

Emergency room physicians, along with the Cook County Medical Examiner, both determined Jazmine suffered from extreme malnutrition, according to city of Harvey spokesman Sean Howard. 

Jazmine, who had been diagnosed with spinabifida, was born premature in November and weighed just 3 pounds at the time of her birth. She was released one month later weighing 7 pounds.

Shortly after, authorities allege Bell failed to take the infant to multiple doctor appointments. 

DCFS was investigating the girl’s mother for an allegation of neglect, an agency spokeswoman said. Two siblings were taken out of the home and put in foster care during the investigation.

The agency has had prior contact with the family. The baby’s father was indicated for an allegation of neglect on May 18, and the girl has been in the care of her mother ever since, according to DCFS.

"Its unfortunate and sad that Baby Jazmine will never have the opportunity to enter kindergarten, graduate from High School or even attend Law School. All because nobody felt compelled to simply take her to a doctor during the last few months of her life." Howard said in a statement.

Bell is facing one count of felony child endangerment.

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