Police: Mother may have accidentally smothered baby to death

Posted: Updated:
Mother admitted to drug use

PHOENIX -- Police say a 7-month-old boy is dead after his mother may have accidentally smothered him.

Police officers responded to a call for an infant not breathing at a home near Buckeye Road and 35th Avenue a little before 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The Phoenix Fire Department responded and transported the baby to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

According to Phoenix police Officer Jonathan Howard, the baby's mother, Elizabeth Ortiz, fled the home as officers and firefighters attempted to help her baby. Police officers discovered that she had an outstanding arrest warrant.

Howard said Ortiz later returned to the scene and cooperated with investigators, who determined that she had fallen asleep on the couch with the infant and may have accidentally smothered him.

Howard said Ortiz admitted to drug usage, which is believed to be a causal factor in the child's death. Investigators are waiting for the results of toxicology reports and the autopsy.

Ortiz was booked for one count of child abuse and the outstanding felony warrant.