Police Reveal Mother Found Unconscious in Car With Bottle of Rum, Dead Baby

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 8, 2019US News
Police Reveal Mother Found Unconscious in Car With Bottle of Rum, Dead Baby
Rachel McAfee, left, was found alive after being reported missing on March 4, 2019. Her baby, Emma, was pronounced dead. (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

The Indiana mother found in a car with her dead baby has been arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

Rachel McAfee, 36, was found on March 5, a day after she and her 3-month-old daughter Emma vanished.

They were reported missing by McAfee’s husband, John McAfee.

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 to a meeting, but that didn’t happen and no one had seen her.

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

According to newly-filed court documents, responding officers found McAfee unconscious with a bottle of rum lying nearby in addition to her baby, who was “cold to the touch and appeared to be deceased.”

Medics pronounced the little girl dead about 15 minutes after arriving on the scene. Temperatures at the time were around 9 degrees Fahrenheit, police wrote, reported Fox 59.

McAfee appeared to be drunk, officers said.

Before the mother and daughter were located, John McAfee said that his wife has struggled with alcohol and depression. According to police reports, he told officers recently: “Rachel is known to drink alcohol until she passes out.”

He added that she missed a doctor’s appointment on Feb. 22 for Emma because she drank too much and passed out.

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.

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 in five, to one in 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.

Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry told Fox 59 that McAfee was responsible for her daughter’s death.

“You are responsible for the welfare of your child. There are mitigating circumstances here, but ultimately as a parent you are responsible for your child,” he said.

She was due in court on Friday. According to WTHR reporter Steve Jefferson, McAfee was scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday and she was expected to post bond in the case.

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