A Georgia woman has been charged with murder in the death of her 3-year-old son, who drowned in the family's backyard swimming pool on Memorial Day.
On May 31, a Bartow County judge said Bobbie Jessica Prather, 32, had left her son, Jagger, unsupervised for more than 14 hours leading up to his death, reports the Daily Mail.
Deputies with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Prather's home at 1:30 p.m. on May 29 after getting a report about a child who was found unresponsive in the pool.
Prather was performing CPR on her son, who had turned blue and was not breathing. Medical personnel at the scene said Jagger had spent too much time underwater to be revived and he was pronounced dead.
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A medical examiner later determined that the toddler had been submerged for at least an hour before he was pulled from the water.
At around 6 p.m. that evening, Prather was arrested on a charge of felony murder and four counts of first-degree cruelty to children.
Sgt. Jonathan Rogers, the lead investigator for the case with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office, explained the charges to WXIA.
"We feel that the situation led up to the child losing his life in the drowning," he said, noting that Prather left Jagger and her other children to fend for themselves for more than 14 hours, which was "willfully depriving said child of safety and security."
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Her three surviving children, a 4-year-old and 1-year-old twins, were removed from her home and placed in protective custody.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 1 to 14. Drowning kills more children ages 1 to 4 than anything else except birth defects, and an average of three children die every day from drowning. About 60 percent of drowning deaths among children occur in swimming pools.
To prevent drowning, the CDC recommends that everyone have basic swimming skills and know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Fences that separate the house and play area from the pool are also recommended. It is urged that children always wear life jackets in and around water. Finally, "Because drowning happens quickly and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol or drugs."