Shantay Belcher Clearwater Florida woman charged w/ child neglect after leaving boyfriend’s unresponsive 7 year old son in cold bathtub for 12 hours before calling 911.
A 33 year old Florida woman has been charged with child neglect for allegedly leaving her boyfriend’s 7-year-old son in a cold bath for several hours overnight before his death.
Shantay Belcher called 911 around 8:45 a.m. Sunday from a Clearwater apartment to report that her boyfriend’s son was unresponsive. Crews from Clearwater Fire & Rescue performed resuscitation efforts on the child, with the child taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later WTSP reports.
Investigators said the boy had been unresponsive for 12 hours ‘while Belcher did not seek help.’
According to an arrest affidavit, Belcher said the boy fell asleep on the floor of his room Saturday night circa 8.30 p.m. Around 10:30 p.m., Belcher’s 10-year-old son said the boy was still not waking up and was ‘breathing funny,’ and gasping for air the affidavit states.
Officers said Belcher and her 10-year-old son put the boy in the bathtub, and then Belcher ‘placed a few inches of cold water into the bathtub in hope of (redacted) waking up.’
Why didn’t she seek emergency aid?
Police said the boy was in the bathtub in cold water for several hours. Belcher who had yet to call emergency continued to check on the boy overnight, police said, but still found him non-responsive.
As the boy lay suffering alone in the bathtub, police said Belcher and her own three children were in the next room the whole time.
When Belcher called the boy’s father around 8 a.m. Sunday, detectives said she realized the child was not breathing. Police said Belcher did not call 911 until the father came home shortly thereafter.
According to a news release, ‘Belcher could not explain to detectives why she did not summon medical help and later said that she should have called 911 sooner.’
Police described Belcher as having ‘no remorse’ at the time of her arrest, according to WFLA. The woman admitted that she ‘knew something wasn’t right from the start.’
‘The first thing you would do is render aid and ensure that child’s safety and well being,’ said Lt. Walek.
Of note Belcher had a prior history with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Detectives are now waiting for an autopsy to be completed.
She is being held in Pinellas County Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bail. Charges could be upgraded pending results of the autopsy.