MUNCIE, Ind. — A man is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death after investigators said a baby died after being left alone in a Muncie motel room for several hours.
The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office charged Jacob Vera, 24, last week in connection to the March 25 death of a 3-month-old infant.
Charging documents show that police were called to the Bestway Inn on N. Broadway at around 8:35 p.m. on March 25. A woman told police her 3-month-old daughter was unresponsive in a baby swing. She had been left unattended in the room along with a 16-month-old sibling, police said.
First responders said the infant was already showing signs of rigor mortis, indicating she had died at least two hours before being found by her mother. The girl had been swaddled in a baby blanket and placed in the swing. An autopsy report found the baby had died of asphyxiation.
A witness told police Vera had asked him for a ride to Chicago at around 5:30 p.m. that day. Another person said she picked Vera up from the motel around 6:40 p.m. and gave him a ride to Illinois.
Vera, who was last known to be in Peoria, Illinois, admitted to police he left the children unattended, according to court documents. “If I’m guilty of anything, it’s the leaving,” Vera reportedly said over the phone to investigators. He told police he left the children by themselves so he could go to Illinois and “avoid any drama” with their mother.
The woman told police Vera would watch the children while she worked.
Vera was arrested in Illinois.