A drunk mum identified as Milda Stucinskaite suffocated her four-month-old baby to death after falling asleep on the child who laid on the sofa at their resident in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Mija Krupaityte, the four-month-old baby was discovered lifeless by a lodger who shared the home with her parents.
Emergency services rushed to the Liverpool home after lodgers found the lifeless body of the baby on a sofa. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, four-month-old Mija Krupaityte has pronounced dead at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital a short while after.
It was later discovered that the child’s mum and dad, Audrius Krupaitis had crashed out after drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.
Mrs. Stucinskaite was ‘extremely intoxicated’ after drinking four-times the legal driving limit – meaning she was in the range of extreme intoxication to unconsciousness – when the baby was found.
While Mr. Krupaitis, who was slumped in an armchair, was the equivalent of 2.5 times over the drink-drive limit.
At an inquest, coroner Lisa McElvogue said the lodger living at the address claimed both parents were drinking and that they passed Mrs. Stucinskaite a bottle of milk. She started to feed the baby with it and the lodger, along with another man living at the address, went out to get a pizza.
When they came back 45 minutes later they found Mrs. Stucinskaite lying over the baby on the sofa, partially covering her body. The dad was asleep in his armchair.
The frantic lodger woke the parents and started performing CPR on the child, while Mrs. Stuckinskaite ran into the street, knocking on doors and begging neighbours for help.
Two health care assistants who were making visits nearby rushed in with neighbours and attempted to revive the child. Paramedics took over CPR when they arrived, but it proved too late.
Mija was declared dead at hospital, less than an hour after the first call to the emergency services was made.
According to witnesses, Mr Krupaitis, a factory worker, said: ‘It’s my fault. I fell asleep and woke up and she was on the floor.’
Ms Stucinskaite was reported to have said: ‘I sat on the baby.’
Both parents, aged 32 from Lithuania, were arrested on suspicion of causing or allowing the death of a child, but later released.
After Mija’s death a small shrine built up at the front door of the house where the baby died, with bouquets of flowers, messages, cuddly toys, candles, fairy lights and religious ornaments.
Giving evidence, Dr Jonathan Metcalfe, a Home Office-registered forensic pathologist, said there were no suspicious injuries on the baby’s body and she appeared healthy. He said:
“It is well-recognised that a baby can be smothered without leaving any signs whatsoever on the body.
“The lack of any physical injuries does not contradict the events as described by the witnesses. ‘Both parents were significantly intoxicated with alcohol at the time Mija died, with an extremely high blood alcohol level in the mother.”
Dr Metcalfe said that although it was not possible to completely rule out cot death or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as the cause of Mija’s death, it was more likely it was caused by Ms Stucinsaite lying on top of her while they were on the settee together. Dr Metcalfe added:
“Sleeping with babies on sofas is considered unsafe, as it can cause death in a number of ways, including obstruction of the mouth and nose and preventing breathing.”
He gave the likely cause of death as asphyxia, and ‘over-laying by an intoxicated adult.’