Nebraska Stepmom Allegedly Let Tot With Down Syndrome Drown In Bath

A Nebraska stepmom has been arrested on accusations associated with the drowning death of her stepson. KETV News reports that 28-year-old Jacqueline Cooley was taken into police custody yesterday after a lengthy investigation surrounding the January incident that ended in the death of a 2-year-old special needs child.

Authorities in Lincoln, Nebraska, opened an investigation in January after the 2-year-old child died. At the time, Jacqueline Cooley told investigators that she had inadvertently left the toddler alone in a bath for approximately three minutes. During this time, the child (who had Down syndrome) drowned. She told police that she had only left him alone for a couple of minutes to look for a towel. She claimed at the time that she administered CPR in an attempt to save the lad, but he remained unresponsive. The 2-year-old child died approximately six days later.

WOWT News reports that the Nebraska toddler was found face down in the family’s bathtub in January. Tests concluded that the 2-year-old was left brain dead by the incident. This was met with heartache by the child’s biological mother, Tabitha Davis.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Nebraska stepmom had left the children unattended in a bath. Back in November of last year, Jacqueline Cooley faced child neglect charges after she left her kids alone in a bath. Prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges against her, but she won’t escape charges after this most recent — and fatal — incident. Jacqueline Cooley has been charged with felony child abuse, associated with the death of her two-year-old stepson.

Like with other cases involving the deaths of children, this incident has attracted a multitude of comments on social media. Many folks have expressed outrage that she “got away” with a similar incident in November, and others are sickened by the fact that the alleged victim was a child with Down syndrome.

Laura Lee Day via Nueces County Jail
[Image via Laura Lee Day via Nueces County Jail]

It’s not entirely uncommon for children to drown in bathtubs. In fact, some parents (and stepparents) have been charged with crimes associated with these tragic deaths of their children.

In 2012, a woman named Laura Lee Day was dubbed in the media as The Wicked Stepmother. That’s because she was convicted of purposely drowning her 6-year-old stepchild. Police say that Day was jealous of the child’s biological mother, so she targeted the boy. She reportedly let him drown, purposely, by letting him play in water without a life jacket. She refused to help the boy and then took a 12-mile-drive to a hospital, making sure it was too late for him (instead of calling an ambulance). The woman also had a disturbingly violent past. When she was 17-years-old, she shot and killed her boyfriend before a botched suicide attempt. She served just six years in prison for second-degree murder.

There have also been countless reports of parents getting distracted by social media and mobile phones while letting their children play in the bath. In 2015, a woman was reportedly distracted by her cellphone when her three children drowned in a swimming pool. Her case attracted a lot of anger from the public, who deemed her an irresponsible parent.

Authorities confirmed that the woman’s other children, ranging from ages 5-years-old to just a year old, have been removed from her custody. They are now in the care of social workers.

[Image via Lincoln Police]

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