Mom charged after car seat straps were too tight, killing son | Police/Fire


A Fort Wayne woman has been charged in her infant son’s May death because of asphyxiation from car seat straps being too tight.

Megan E. Ford, 35, is charged with felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office filed the charge Friday, and Ford was arrested the same day.

The boy, whose name was redacted from court records, was found unresponsive in his car seat after a 15-minute drive on May 16, 2021, in Yoder. Ford said she thought the infant had fallen asleep during the drive but found him to be blue in color with blood coming from his mouth and nose, court records said.

The infant’s abdomen had bruising that matched the car seat straps, and he had five broken ribs that could have been from CPR chest compressions or the car seat, court records said.

The cause of death on the autopsy was listed in court records as “possible mechanical asphyxia due to chest and abdomen compression.”

Ford told police she had not adjusted the straps on the car seat since its first use despite the infant gaining about 3.5 pounds. She said she knew a couple of days before the incident that the car seat’s straps were too tight.

The boy’s father said he had a conversation with Ford about the car seat being too tight, and he told police neither of them knew how to adjust the straps.

Ford said she planned on having her mother show her how to adjust the straps since the car seat was a gift from her. Ford told police she threw away the box and instructions to the car seat.

Det.-Cpl. Gabriel Furnish of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, who wrote the probable cause affidavit, said he was able to find the owner’s manual, which included instructions on how to adjust the straps, by using the model number on the car seat when searching online.

Ford’s initial hearing is set for today.

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