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Mother charged with first-degree murder after baby found unresponsive in a bathtub dies

(WBIR) Update 1/10/20: The mother of an 11-month-old who died after being found unresponsive in a bathtub earlier this week has been charged with first-degree m...

(WBIR) Update 1/10/20:

The mother of an 11-month-old who died after being found unresponsive in a bathtub earlier this week has been charged with first-degree murder, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. 

RELATED: Tennessee baby drowns while mom has ‘me time’

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, in conjunction with the Family Crimes Unit charged Lindsee Leonardo, 32, Friday with murder stemming from an investigation into an incident at her residence that resulted in the death of her 11-month-old child Aiden Leonardo. The murder charge is in addition to her initial charge of aggravated child abuse. Bond has been set at $250,000 for the murder charge and $100,000 for the abuse charge.

David Brandon Dillingham

Arrest warrants reveal that the mother, Lindsee Leonardo, 32, told investigators that she stepped away from the bathtub to smoke a cigarette and listen to music on her phone while her children were in the bathtub in about 4 to 6 inches of water. She said, in the warrant, that she listened to about two songs on her phone. 

Leonardo said she filled the tub with four to six inches of water for the children’s bath time before stepping away, records show. When she returned, she told investigators the 23-month-old child had turned on the water and the bathtub was filled to the top with 11-month-old Aiden Leonardo floating on his back, according to authorities. 

RELATED: Court records show history of family conflict before Tennessee baby’s death

Original story: 

The 11-month-old who regained a heartbeat after being found unresponsive in a bathtub earlier this week has died at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, according to hospital spokesperson Erica Estep.

Arrest warrants reveal that the mother, Lindsee Leonardo, 32, told investigators that she stepped away from the bathtub to smoke a cigarette and listen to music on her phone while her children were in the bathtub in about 4 to 6 inches of water. She said, in the warrant, that she listened to about two songs on her phone. 

Leonardo said she filled the tub with four to six inches of water for the children’s bath time before stepping away, records show. When she returned, she told investigators the 23-month-old child had turned on the water and the bathtub was filled to the top with 11-month-old Aiden Leonardo floating on his back, according to authorities. 

KCSO

She said she grabbed Aiden and took him to her bed before calling 911. The operator instructed her on how to perform CPR until first responders arrived and transported the victim to Tennova Turkey Creek Medical Center, the warrant said.

On the way there, the baby regained a heartbeat. He was later transported to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where he was still in critical condition Thursday night.

That’s where Leonardo was arrested Thursday by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office on aggravated child abuse charges.

After Aiden’s death, those charges will likely be increased.

“Our hearts are saddened at the loss. We expect additional charges to be forthcoming. As for now, the investigation is continuing,“ said Kimberly Glenn, KCSO spokesperson.

Original story (1/8/20):

A Knox County 11-month-old who was found unresponsive in a bathtub Wednesday night is in critical condition, according to East Tennesse Children’s Hospital spokesperson Erica Estep.

Deputies escorted EMS to Tennova West with the child after they were found unresponsive around 8 p.m. in the 1200 block of Boyd Station Road Wednesday, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. 

Jeff Bagwell with Knox County Rural Metro said it was a ‘tough call’ for emergency teams to respond to. When Rural Metro arrived, he said they had to use advanced life support to revive the child before they were rushed to the ER in critical condition. Bagwell said the baby was transported to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital overnight. 

According to Bagwell, his understanding is two children were in the bathtub with no water. They were left unattended and the three-year-old turned on the water.

Initial reports were that the child was 1-year-old but the father, David Brandon Dillingham, told 10News Thursday that his son, Aiden Leonardo, was 11 months old. 

The sheriff’s office said Wednesday night the investigation is underway and said it will release more information as it becomes available.  

David Brandon Dillingham
David Brandon Dillingham

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