Mother charged after 1st baby of 2010 found dead in dirty garage

7:19 PM, Feb 8, 2010   |    comments
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Summer Moon Hawk, who was born on New Year's Day and was the first baby born this year at McKee Medical, died on Jan. 25. Her mother, Kaylynn Marie Davis, 20, was charged with child abuse resulting in death and is jailed under $300,000 bond.

Davis sometimes left Summer and her 2-year-old sister, Pheonyx Davis, with strangers so she could go "party," according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Scott Highland of the Loveland Police Department. Close friends told police that Davis "actually becomes a better mother when she is high in that she has a little bit more patience and will pay a small amount of attention to them," the affidavit said.

The Colorado Department of Human Services had an open case on Summer because she tested positive at birth for THC, a chemical in marijuana, according to the affidavit. DHS also had opened a case when Pheonyx Davis tested positive for THC when she was born on Dec. 30, 2007.

DHS spokeswoman Liz McDonough said she was legally prohibited from speaking about individual cases.

But she said in general, health care providers are required to notify the county human service office if there's evidence that the mother's behavior threatens the health of the child.

The county will then develop "a safety plan for the child," with specific actions varying on a case by case basis. They could require increased supervision of the mother, parenting classes and taking custody of the child.

DHS conducts a "fatality review" if an infant dies of suspected abuse or neglect within five years of involvement with the family welfare unit, McDonough said. She couldn't immediately say Monday whether such a review has begun in Summer's death.

According to the arrest affidavit, police were notified shortly after 11:30 a.m. Jan. 25 that Summer had been found dead at a home in the 2600 block of Cedar Drive.

Davis told police she had fed her daughter at 8:30 a.m. and noticed her moving at 10 a.m., then found her dead at 11:30 a.m. However, paramedics said rigor mortis had set in by the time they arrived, according to the affidavit.

Margorie Bennett, Summer's great-grandmother, said Davis woke her at about midnight and told her she couldn't get Summer to wake up for a feeding.

"Margorie noticed Summer's lips, eyelids, hands and feet were blue. She told Kaylynn that she was good at getting a baby to go to sleep, but not waking them up. Margorie did not appear to be concerned about Summer's condition and went back to bed," the affidavit said.

The child's grandmother, Anita Davis, helped Kaylynn wake and feed the baby but didn't see the child again until 11:30 a.m., when Kaylynn woke her and told her Summer wasn't breathing.

Summer's body was found on a bed in a cold, dirty garage at the house, where the baby was kept, according to Highland's affidavit. There was a small space heater in the garage, but no other heat source.

Police took temperature readings in the garage throughout the evening of Jan. 25 and found that the temperature dipped as low as 43.7 degrees, according to the affidavit.

Several of Kaylynn Davis' friends told investigators that the baby was extremely congested and suffered from severe diaper rash. The friends said Summer sometimes would turn blue and stop breathing, and some advised her to take the infant to a doctor or hospital, according to the affidavit.

"Kaylynn's response to their concerns was always the same. She would tell them Summer was fine and that she just had a cold," the affidavit said.

The friends also reported that Kaylynn Davis would feed her daughter by propping a bottle on a pillow and wrapping a blanket around the baby's shoulders and the bottle to prevent Summer from spitting out the bottle.

Records showed that Summer had two doctor visits in her short life, Highland wrote.
The first was a routine well-baby check-up on Jan. 11 at the Loveland Community Health Center. Summer's weight was slightly below where it should be, so Kaylynn Davis was advised to have her checked again in a week. She was given standard information on caring for a newborn.

The second visit was Jan. 18 at Salud Family Health Center in Fort Collins. A physicians assistant said Summer had a cold but otherwise appeared to be a "perfectly healthy baby."

The physician's assistant said Davis did not mention anything about the baby having difficulty breathing or turning blue. If so, she would have advised Davis to go to an emergency room if Summer showed signs of difficulty breathing, according to the affidavit.

Davis was advised of the charges against her Monday, and Magistrate Matthew Zehe set her first appearance in District Court for 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Davis appeared by video from the jail and several members of her family and fiancée David Hawk were in the courtroom.

The family declined comment after the hearing and one person in the group pushed a news reporter as they left the courthouse.

It wasn't immediately clear who was caring for Summer's 2-year-old sister.

Written by Katie Looby, Loveland Connection, and Robert Moore, Fort Collins Coloradoan.

(Copyright © 2010 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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