Infant Girl Found Dead in Parked Car with Mom, Who Is Taken to Hospital and Arrested

Photo: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

The search for a missing Indiana mother and her infant daughter ended in tragedy Tuesday afternoon when the baby was found dead in a car and the mom was taken to the hospital.

Rachel McAfee was found with the body of her 3-month-old daughter Emma in her parked car, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department announced in a news release obtained by PEOPLE.

The pair had been reported missing by McAfee’s husband on Monday after the 36-year-old didn’t drop her daughter off at her in-laws’ home and failed to attend a meeting, WISHTV and WTHR report.

On Tuesday, first responders conducting a welfare check on a parked car shortly before 3 p.m. found McAfee and Emma inside, the release states. Emma’s cause of death was not immediately clear and more will be known after her autopsy, Deputy Chief of Investigations Christopher Bailey told reporters at a Tuesday press conference.

While she remained hospitalized for what police described as injuries related to the cold, McAfee was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent causing death, according to the news release.

Information on whether she entered a plea or retained an attorney was not immediately available.

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Before his wife and daughter were found, McAfee’s husband, John, said he feared for his daughter’s safety because his wife had been acting unusually.

“My biggest concern is my daughter. She’s only three months old. Obviously, she can’t fend for herself. My wife can. My wife’s not the most fit mentally, currently, so that’s a big concern,” he told local station WTHR, adding, “She had a little bit of depression going on. Just hasn’t been her normal self.”

Bailey said investigators would be looking into McAfee’s alleged history with alcoholism, suicidal thoughts and postpartum depression.

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