Fort Worth

Babysitter Won't Be Charged in Death of Child Who Suffocated in a Closet

CPS' Child Care Licensing division's investigation into day care ongoing

The baby sitter who placed a 9-month-old infant inside a closet strapped into a car seat so he could sleep will not face criminal charges related to the boy's death, Fort Worth police say.

According to previous reports, the unnamed sitter was caring for a large number of children inside a home on the 600 block of Woodpecker Lane in Northwest Fort Worth on Aug. 7.

Investigators determined the sitter placed the infant, John Norris, in the car seat, and then inside a walk-in closet, so that he could sleep. When the caretaker later checked on the boy, he was deceased.

Police said it appears Norris died in his sleep after sliding down in the car seat and suffocating. They believe he was not strapped in correctly, and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled the boy's death an accident.

Fort Worth police previously said there were no signs of foul play, and on Tuesday said that they do not plan to file any criminal charges in the case.

The boy's mother, Megan Norris, said Aug. 9 the sitter had been caring for her son since January or February and that there were never any red flags or signs that he was being neglected. She said she didn't know if it was a common practice for her son to be placed in a closet to sleep, but that if she'd known that was happening she wouldn't have returned.

"His smiles, giggles and coos lit up my life, every single day that God blessed me with him. I'm so thankful for every moment I had with him. I am devastated without my precious baby," Megan Norris said last week. "His passing is the most devastating thing any parent could ever endure."

Megan Norris, the mother of an infant who suffocated to death after being left by his caretaker to sleep in a car seat in a closet, spoke publicly of her son Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, investigators with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' Child Care Licensing division are working an ongoing investigation to determine if the sitter was illegally operating a day care without a license. The investigation could take about 30 days to complete.

If the sitter is found to have operated a day care without a license she could be subject to a class B misdemeanor.

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