A 3 ½-month-old girl died of electrocution early Friday morning after sleeping in a bed with her mom and another child in an apartment on Milwaukee's north side, officials said Sunday.
According to a report by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office released Sunday:
Diamond Nicole McDuffie was put to bed at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night. When the girl's mom came to bed about 10 p.m., the girl's two-year-old sister was also sleeping in the bed.
About 12:15 a.m. Friday, the mother woke up when she heard a thud. She found the Diamond Nicole "gasping for air" on the floor of the bedroom. The infant was lying between the bed and the wall in contact with metal coils of a baseboard heater on the floor.
The heater was uncovered where the baby was lying and metal coils within the heater were exposed. The back of her head touched the metal bed frame.
"I noted that when I placed my hand both on the metal bed frame and any part of the baseboard heater, an electrical current was delivered to my hand," the investigator said in the report.
A We Energies employee said the metal leg of the bed frame touched an extension cord with an exposed wire.
The wire was partly exposed because the metal leg of the bed had worn through it, the report said. The extension cord was connected to several electrical devices.
When the mom noticed the baby on the floor, she discovered that her cellphone battery had died and she ran to a neighbor's apartment to ask them to call 911. Residents tried to perform CPR on the girl. Firefighters noticed the baby had burns on her face and also tried to resuscitate her, but to no avail.
"The cause of death is 'low voltage electrocution' and the manner is 'accident,' " the medical examiner's office said in a news release.
The investigator said there was no evidence of drug or alcohol use, but noted the apartment, located in the 2800 block of W. Atkinson Ave., was "extremely dirty and cluttered throughout," had "extensive insect activity" and was full of dirty dishes and old food. The bedroom where the girl was found was "dirty and extremely cluttered with objects, garbage and toys,"
the investigator said.
The case was referred to the Milwaukee Bureau of Child Welfare.