Mother charged in baby’s death
The woman who allegedly forgot to drop her nine-month old baby at the sitter's and left him in the car in the JAG School parking lot all day March 30 was charged with second-degree murder and felony child neglect today in Charlottesville Albemarle Juvenile and Domestic Relation Court.
According to a source close to the investigation, Greene County resident Raelyn Balfour, 35, arrived at her job at the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School around 8:30am last Friday, and didn't realize she'd forgotten to take baby Bryce Balfour to the sitter until she retrieved a message from the sitter at 4pm.
The state medical examiner says the infant died from hyperthermia and ruled the death accidental. Even on a mild spring day such as March 30, when the high temperature was 66 degrees, the interior of cars can soar 40 degrees in an hour, say experts, and small children are particularly susceptible to heat exposure. Bryce Balfour was not breathing when university police arrived.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elizabeth Killeen acknowledged that the death was accidental, and asked for $25,000 bond, citing the mother's lack of a criminal record. Raelyn Balfour is also prohibited from contact with children outside the family, and may only have supervised contact with family members. Balfour has a 14-year-old son.