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Crime

Infant Drowns in the Bathtub After Mom Allegedly Became Distracted by Facebook

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A young Texas mother was arrested Wednesday and charged in the drowning death of her 6-month old daughter after allegedly leaving the baby alone in the bath while she became distracted by Facebook and another child, authorities say.

Deputies with the Parker County, Texas, sheriff were called to the home of 21-year-old Cheyenne Summer Stuckey in suburban Fort Worth on June 13 to assist in investigating the death of 6-month old Zayla Hernandez, according to a sheriff’s news release obtained by PEOPLE.

The incident was originally reported as a medical emergency involving the infant, authorities said. Stuckey, 21, told investigators she put her daughter in the bathtub earlier that day and left her unsupervised with the water running “for only a couple minutes,” the news release states.

When Stuckey returned, however, she said Zayla was “unresponsive and floating face down in the tub,” according to the release.

Emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene and performed CPR, but were unsuccessful in reviving Zayla. She was transported to a local hospital by ambulance where she was pronounced dead.

Zayla Hernandez
GoFundMe
Cheyenne Summer Stuckey
Parker County Sheriff's Office

Interviews with investigators revealed that Stuckey hadn’t told authorities everything that had happened, sheriff’s officials alleged in the release, saying that under questioning “she implicated herself in the negligence of her daughter’s death.”

Stuckey allegedly told authorities she left the bathroom and became “distracted” by another child and then by Facebook Messenger, while a TV in the house played loudly, the news release states. Authorities claim she had been on Facebook messaging two individuals for at least 18 minutes while Zayla was unattended.

When Stuckey realized she had forgotten about the child, she rushed to check on her daughter but found her floating in the tub, the sheriff’s office alleged. Stuckey also reported that she attempted to resuscitate Zayla but “did not know how.”

She was booked Wednesday into the Parker County Jail and charged with injury to a child. Her bond has not been set. It is unclear whether Stuckey has retained a lawyer.

Since the incident, the remaining children in the home have been removed and placed in foster care.