Baby Found Dead, Mother Rushed to Hospital After Pair Went Missing

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 6, 2019US News
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Baby Found Dead, Mother Rushed to Hospital After Pair Went Missing
Rachel McAfee (L), was found alive after being reported missing on March 4, 2019. Her baby, Emma, was pronounced dead. (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

One day after going missing, a baby was found dead and a mother was hospitalized, Indiana authorities said.

Rachel McAfee and her 3-month-old daughter, Emma, were reported missing on the evening of March 4 by McAfee’s husband.

He told officers that his wife left the house in Indianapolis with their daughter around 7 a.m. and that she planned to drop the baby off at a babysitter’s house and go into work but that didn’t happen and no one had seen her.

Officers launched a search but it ended when the mother and daughter were found in a vehicle that a neighbor spotted.

The neighbor alerted the police around 3 p.m. on Tuesday. At the time, the wind chill was below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Emma was pronounced dead at the scene while McAfee was rushed to the hospital with “cold-related injuries,” officials told Fox 59.

“She’s receiving medical treatment and then—at some point if appropriate our investigators will be able to talk to her,” said Deputy Chief Chris Bailey.

While the coroner’s office will perform an autopsy on Emma to determine her cause of death, the case has been turned over to homicide detectives.

In a previous news release, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said that McAfee “suffers from alcoholism and postpartum depression and is possibly suicidal,” reported the Indianapolis Star. It wasn’t clear whether McAfee will be arrested or face charges.

Sara Pollard, an Indiana coordinator of Postpartum Support International, said that there are resources for mothers experiencing depression.

“We think of pregnancy and being a new mom as a happy, joyous time. But certainly, we know that as many as one and five, to one and seven women, will have symptoms of some type of mood or anxiety disorder,” Pollard told RTV.

“It can be guilt. It can’t be feeling overwhelmed. Maybe even some sadness, some ‘This isn’t what I thought it would be. This is harder than I anticipated.’ So that’s very unique to each woman who is experiencing symptoms,” she said.

“Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Please don’t suffer in silence. There are people out there. Many of us that volunteer with Postpartum Support International are survivors,” she added.

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