Car seats are designed to keep our little ones safe, but one such device turned into a mom's worst nightmare when it strangled her baby to death.
Bereaved mom Megan Norris lost her 9-month-old son, John Norris, on Aug. 7, when the baby's caretaker secured him in a car seat and placed him in a walk-in closet so he could take a nap, reports KTVT.
Norris was at work at the time.
The babysitter returned later to check on the boy and found him dead from what an autopsy confirmed was accidental suffocation.
"He just started crawling on [Aug. 6], and he was nine months old [on Aug. 9]," Norris said, according to WABC. "I couldn't have been more blessed with another child. He changed my life. He really did."
Police said that the boy had not been secured properly into the seat and that his neck had gotten stuck between a strap and a chest buckle.
"What it sounds like is that bottom buckle was never attached," said Brad Perez, a spokesman for the Fort Worth Police Department, according to KTVT. "So the baby unfortunately began to slide down and the weight of themselves against that strap is possibly what [caused] him to suffocate."
The caretaker is under investigation, and Child Protective Services has banned her from babysitting while the probe continues, notes WABC. She was reportedly running an unlicensed daycare out of her home and was watching approximately 10 children at the time of the infant's death.
Perez said that the caretaker put the boy into the closet, which he pointed out was not a "broom closet or some dark little closet" but rather a "master bedroom closet" to drown out the noise in the house so the tot could get some shut-eye. He was reportedly there for a few hours.
"I think what she was doing was she put the baby down to sleep but did not want to put the baby on the bed by itself because she was afraid he would possibly roll over, so she left the child in the car seat is what she did," Perez added.
There have been no arrests, though officers say the babysitter might be charged with negligence at some point, though they are still debating whether or not to file charges. They do not believe there was any foul play involved and have determined the death to be an accident.