Mame Neta Attocknie, a three-month old baby was reported dead, Tuesday after her foster father allegedly left her in the car in Geronimo, Oklahoma, KFOR News is reporting. The three-month-old baby had allegedly been forgotten in the car for nine hours while the foster father was asleep.
Attocknie’s foster father had allegedly forgotten to drop the three-month old baby at the daycare, after dropping his own son at school. He had allegedly driven home and, because he had just finished working the night shift, slept all day while the little girl suffocated to death in the sweltering heat.
Both foster parents did not notice the little girl was missing until 4:30 pm when the foster mother went to pick up Mame Neta Attocknie from the day care. It was there she found out that the baby was never there. The foster mother had placed a call to her husband, who said he sent one of their sons to the store with the car.
Both parents hurried to the Dollar General in Geronimo where their son had driven the car and found little Mame Neta Attocknie dead in the backseat. As of the time of this report, both foster parents have not been arrested for the death of the little girl. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is presently investigating the hot car death.
It is not clear why a three-month-old baby would be placed in foster care at a very young age, but according to a report from a local news outlet, DHS took Mame Neta Attocknie from her biological mother and determined that other members of the family did not have the capacity to take care of her.
Attocknie’s biological grandparents and great-grandmother devastated by the news of the death of the little girl, were too pained to talk extensively about the tragedy, but managed to say that they loved the little girl and had tried to gain custody to no avail.
DHS spokeswoman, Sheree Powell said it was an unfortunate incident, adding that relatives are always priority, but when they do not meet the standards, other alternatives needed to be pursued.
“Relatives are always our first choice. However, they do have to meet certain standards. They have to pass a background check. They have to not have a child welfare history of their own and they have to be able to care for the child.”
Because one more death is too many. This bill would prevent more tragic deaths due to children left in hot cars. https://t.co/M6tYgi8EQA— Consumers Union (@ConsumersUnion) September 16, 2016
The DHS spokesman said the foster parents were known to authorities and experienced. She added that foster care homes had been reassessed by the DHS in April and that foster care staff members visited Attocknie in August. According to Powell, there was also an infant caseworker allocated to the three-month old girl, who visited the home, every month to check on Mame Neta Attocknie.
“This family has been a foster family since 2001 and has fostered more than 60 children at this time and have adopted several. This is a family that’s very committed to helping Oklahoma’s children.”
According to Powell, Mame Neta Attocknie had been with her foster family since birth and was the only child in the household when she died. Powell confirmed that the DHS was supporting the foster family and the biological family during the tragic period.
“The circumstances surrounding what happened is all still currently under investigation, but we’re just all heartbroken over this — everyone at DHS is. We’re trying our best to support the foster family and the biological family through this process… this is going to be horrific for everyone involved.”
Police officers and medical respondents were the first on the scene. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation special agents were requested by police and spent Wednesday processing the vehicle and interviewing family members.
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