2-Year-Old Dies After Being Neglected for Three Days, Mother Arrested

By Janita Kan

A woman from Charleston, Illinois, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after her 2-year-old son was found unresponsive at their home on Monday, Dec. 4.

Savannah M. Weiss, 22, was arrested on Dec. 6 after she admitted to police that she left her toddler unattended in a portable playpen for three days, according to a Charleston Police Department news statement.

Authorities responded to a call of an unresponsive child at 1052 1st Street just before 9 a.m. on Monday. Upon arriving at the scene, paramedics declared the child dead.

An autopsy conducted at the Champaign County Coroner’s Office revealed that the preliminary cause of death was dehydration and malnutrition, according to the statement.

Upon investigation, authorities found the residence to be full of garbage and debris as well as animal feces, an attorney for the case told reporters at a press conference on Dec. 7. The child’s playpen was also dirty and filled with food debris, the attorney said at the press conference.

The 22-year-old left her home at approximately 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 and returned at about 6 pm. on Sunday, Dec. 3. During this time, her son was left unattended in the playpen with only two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a vitamin bottle with a needle sized hole poked into the cap, according to the attorney.

Weiss is expected to appear in court on Dec. 11.

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