Infant trapped under dead father leaving hospital

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2014 1:00 PM

PLEASANT HILL, La. (AP) — A 10-month-old girl trapped underneath the decomposing body of her father for up to three days could be released Monday afternoon from a Shreveport hospital, a deputy coroner said.

The baby was dehydrated and suffering from blistering skin when she was found Friday wedged against the wall and under the body of her father, 43-year-old Jason Fields, said Sabine Parish Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers.

"It looked like he was sitting on the side of the bed on his computer, fell backward and died," Rivers said. "The fact that he fell on her and made no attempt to get up tells me he died instantly when he fell on top of her."

Sheriff's deputies were called to the Fields' home in Pleasant Hill after the baby's 5-year-old brother told neighbors he thought his father was dead.

Rivers said he found Fields on the bed. His body was in an advanced state of decomposition, leaving Rivers to speculate Fields had been dead several days.

Fields had a history of cardiac problems, Rivers said. No autopsy will be performed because of the condition of the body. There were no signs of trauma.

Box fans were the only source of cooling in the home.

The older child was checked out and did not suffer any injuries. Rivers did not interview the boy, so he was uncertain how he coped during the days before he went for help.

Fields' wife, incarcerated in the Sabine Parish jail with only a few more days to serve, was released under guard to travel to the hospital. It was unclear whether she would have to return to jail to serve out her sentence.