Obese babysitter dies, smothers infant

Sept. 3, 2011 at 6:44 PM
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GREENLAWN, N.Y., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A 1-month-old baby was smothered to death when his obese babysitter collapsed and died on top of him at his home in Greenlawn, N.Y., authorities say.

Michael Baldwin III was found dead with his 39-year-old sitter, Teresa Coffey, by his father, local TV personality Michael Baldwin, Thursday night at the Long Island residence, the New York Post reported Saturday.

"The woman was described as extremely heavy," Detective Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky said. "... Because of the amount of flesh, it could have caused the baby to suffocate."

The father, who had been taping his TV show "Diverse Long Island, said he had rushed home after being unable to reach Coffey by phone and found her slumped on the couch, but couldn't find his son, initially.

"I searched every room," Baldwin told the Post. "I was saying his name, 'Michael! Michael!'"

Returning to the living room, he said he "just had this funny feeling she was on top of him."

"I lifted her and he was underneath," Baldwin said. "He was lying on his back with his hands folded on his stomach.

"He was blue ... . I just grabbed him and called his name -- I knew he was dead."

His son and the babysitter were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Pelkofsky said investigators believe the deaths were a "tragic accident," but were awaiting autopsy and toxicology test results.

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