Adams County toddler dies after sleeping in overheated room

Mother arrested, faces reckless homicide charges

MANCHESTER, Ohio - A woman was arrested on the suspicion of negligent homicide and endangering children when her child was found unresponsive in the 500 block of East Fifth Street in Manchester on Wednesday.

Authorities said Jesika Case, 26, used a space heater in a room for her 18-month-old daughter Tuesday night, and the following morning, the room was more than 100 degrees. The father, Jeremy Cox, is also facing possible felony child endangerment charges.

"Temperatures in the room were anywhere from 90 to 130 degrees in certain spots," said Chief Jeff Bowling of the Manchester Police Department.

When Case checked on her daughter, Jailynn Cox, at approximately noon. Wednesday, she was unresponsive. A neighbor called 911 and a mail carrier tried to resuscitate the girl until medics arrived, according to police.

"Her eyes were black. I checked her airway. I checked for vomit or bleeding. I didn't see anything so I proceeded to give her CPR," said Lynn Matthews the mail carrier who tried to help.

The toddler was taken to Meadowview Regional Medical Center in Maysville, Ky. where she was pronounced dead. Investigators believe the preliminary cause to be excessive exposure to heat.

"There was not any heating vents upstairs for the furnace to actually supply heat to the bedroom, the mother indicated," Bowling said. "The mother indicated the room was a little chilly so she turned the heater up on high."

The child was in a room approximately 8 feet by 6 feet and was 5 feet from the heater in a crib, Bowling said.

"Upon questioning we determined that she felt it was a little warm but she didn't think it was excessively hot," said Bowling. "When officers entered the scene they determined that the heat was so intense that it almost took your breath away."

The couple was arraigned late Thursday evening in Adams County Court. Autopsy results will be forthcoming.

The two other children living at the home are now in police custody.

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