SHELL KNOB, Mo. -- A mother is in jail and her 3-week-old baby is recovering in a hospital. Stone County sheriff’s deputies believe the young woman from Shell Knob tried to kill herself and her baby.
The baby girl was in critical condition when she was airlifted to Springfield on Tuesday. Her mother, Jayde Kerns, 19, was treated and released at the same hospital before being taken to jail in Galena. She’s charged with first-degree child endangerment.
Emergency responders got a call to Kerns’ home at 188 North Keystone.
“We received a call; it was third hand from some people who had received a text message from this young lady, saying she was going to kill herself and her baby, by means, I believe, of some medication overdose,” said Stone County Sheriff Richard Hill.
When deputies and paramedics arrived at the mobile home and went inside, they found Kerns and her baby lying on a bed.
“The baby was within about a foot of the space heater, very hot, unresponsive,” said Hill.
A probable cause statement by a deputy says the baby was having difficulty breathing, her eyes looked dried and glazed over, and she was very warm to the touch but not sweating.
“They got the baby outside, tried to cool the baby down. I understand the baby's core temperature was about 106.3 at that point and a very rapid heart rate,” the sheriff said.
Law enforcement officers also talked to the baby's father, who said Kerns told him she was going to put pills in the baby's bottle. She also threatened to kill herself.
According to the probable cause statement, Kerns sent several text messages to a friend on Tuesday, saying she was about to take the rest of her 25 Xanax and finish a bottle of Captain Morgan Rum.
“I understand there was an argument between her and her boyfriend, who is the baby's father, a little earlier in the day that might have started this. I don't really know at this point,” said Hill.
Hill says the baby girl’s condition is improving.
“The baby’s doing much better. I had some real concerns yesterday, and the first day. Some liver functions weren’t right. The hospital said today the liver functions are doing better, and the baby is really progressing very rapidly,” he said.