A Lake Charles woman has been charged with murder after reportedly leaving her baby in her SUV for 5 hours on Sunday, causing the death of the child.
Carissa Lewis, a six-month-old girl, has been identified.
“Somebody out there would have loved this child, somebody would have loved the opportunity to raise this child,” chief deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory said.
Ivy L. Lee, 22, flagged down an off-duty officer near Enterprise Boulevard and Broad Street around 3:45 p.m. Sunday and informed the deputy her six-month-old child was not breathing, according to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kayla Vincent.
According to Vincent, the off-duty deputy and then another deputy who was on patrol conducted life-saving steps on the child. The child was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Her death appears to have been caused by heat.
Lee initially told police that she did not have custody of the child. She later told investigators that she had left the child in her small SUV at her place of work on Gerstner Memorial Drive for about 5 hours, according to Vincent.
“She stated that she initially left the car running, but a coworker later told her the car was later running, and she turned her vehicle off,” Guillory said.
According to Vincent, marijuana was discovered in the SUV.
This is not Lee’s first incident of this type. The Department of Children and Family Services previously contacted the mom after she was accused of abandoning another child in a hot car in 2019.
“Yes, DCFS was involved in the case. They were called out but during the course of the investigation, the mother voluntarily gave us that baby before the state had to get involved,” said Chief Deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory with CPSO. “That baby was given to a family member so there was never another follow-up.”
“During the course of our investigation, we learned of other instances where Lee had left the child in the vehicle,” Guillory said.
Lee was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center on second-degree murder and marijuana possession charges. She is being held on a $1,204,000 bond.