Police suspect negligence in baby's death
Social workers visited the mentally challenged parents often, but did not find cause to intervene.
A 6-month-old baby died in Jerusalem on Monday, and police suspect her mentally disabled parents may have caused her death through neglect.
Another possibility is this is a case of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS ) or crib death, which happens regardless of parents' conduct.
Police intend to seek a court-ordered autopsy to ascertain the cause of the baby's death. The parents were released on bail on Monday and forbidden to see their other six children for five days.
The baby's mother called the Magen David Adom emergency services at about 11 A.M. Monday and reportedly said the baby "doesn't look good to me." The medic on the phone understood from her that the child was unconscious and guided the mother on the phone on how to resuscitate the baby.
When the paramedics arrived at the apartment in Jerusalem's Katamon neighborhood, the infant was dead. Preliminary examination indicated she had been dead for hours.
Police suspect the child fell ill several days ago, and the parents, who have six other children, failed to give her adequate medical care.
Police investigators said the parents' apartment was dirty and run down, and that the children looked unkempt and uncared for. They asked how the city's social services could allow the family to deteriorate to such a state.
"We called social services only last week and nobody cared," a neighbor said. "The house was stinking, the children were neglected," she said.
The city's social services said social workers visited the parents three times a week to guide them on child care and parenting. "There was no indication justifying taking the children away from them," said the director of the city's social services, Bonnie Goldberg.