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Arizona 1-Year-Old Boy Found Dead in Playpen After Parents Ignore Him for Over 16 Hours, Police Say

Baby Found Dead in Crib After Parents Ignored Him for 16+ Hours: Cops
Source: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

The baby's parents claim they put him to bed and then checked on him and he was dead, officials say.

Mar. 28 2024, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

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A couple in Arizona has been arrested after authorities said their 1-year-old son was found dead in his crib.

Around 6:30 p.m. on March 24, Braydon Pena and Shania Harris, both 25, called 911 after claiming they woke up and found their son dead, according to court documents obtained by KPHO.

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Pena allegedly told police that he picked up breakfast for himself and Harris before they went back to bed — leading police to determine the child hadn’t been checked on for 16 to 20 hours.

Pena said they put the baby to bed between 10:30 p.m. on March 23 and 2 a.m. the next morning, officials said.

He then said they checked on their son at 6 p.m. on March 24 because “it was odd and unusual that he would make no sounds and sleep that long,” court documents say.

Officers responded to the residence and found the baby boy discolored and stiff in his playpen. Evidence allegedly suggested Pena and Harris moved him into the playpen, officials said.

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Court documents allege the deceased baby had scabs on his face and leg and the apartment was in disarray. Officials said it was evident the baby had not been bathed in some time.

Harris told authorities that her son had hydrocephalus, a “buildup of fluid in cavities called ventricles deep within the brain,” according to the Mayo Clinic. This buildup of fluid leads to pressure on the brain.

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Pena allegedly admitted to being a drug user, police said, but he did not indicate if he recently used drugs.

Pena and Harris were arrested and charged with child abuse, according to officials.

According to KPHO, Child Protective Services had prior contact with Pena and Harris. However, it was not clear on why the agency was involved.

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