CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- A South Charleston woman accused of passing out then smothering her infant daughter to death with her body has been arrested.
Leslie Erin Boggs, 25, was arrested Wednesday for the death of her 3-month-old daughter Raynna Rea Boggs. The baby died in May, but detectives only recently were able to make the case against the mother.
She was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after a traffic stop. South Charleston Detective A.R. Gordon said patrol officers had been made aware detectives were looking for Boggs and detained her.
Gordon said detectives had been working on the case since Raynna died in May.
South Charleston police were dispatched May 10, 2010 to Boggs' Monroe Street apartment where an infant was said to be in cardiac arrest. When they arrived, the child had already been taken to Thomas Memorial Hospital. Staff there confirmed the child was Raynna Boggs and that the girl had died.
Boggs told Gordon at the hospital that she left the infant alone in a room while she cleaned and when she returned, Raynna had been unresponsive, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court.
But the officials found evidence of something else. Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Hamada Mahmoud conducted an autopsy on the baby and reported "remarkable facial and anterior upper torso lividity suggestive of unreported accidental overlay," and that the "reported death interval was inconsistent with measured body temperature," the complaint said.
"I think at first he didn't want to potentially get her in trouble, but he knew wrong was wrong and that what happened to the baby wasn't right," Gordon said.
Myers, who was not the baby's father but married Boggs in the months immediately after the infant died, told detectives he had been at the apartment with the woman the morning of Raynna's death. He said Boggs had been drinking and using drugs the night before and that she had passed out on the floor. Myers told detectives he saw the baby's feet sticking out from under Boggs when he walked around Boggs' body.
Myers moved the woman off the baby and saw the infant's face was blue and her head was pushed in.
"He stated he was certain Raynna was deceased," Gordon wrote in the complaint.
He told police that, while at the hospital later that day, Boggs' mother gave her a piece of gum in attempt to conceal the odor of alcohol on her breath.
Detectives told the medical examiner about Myers' statements and the doctor confirmed that what he said was consistent with the initial findings from the autopsy.
Gordon said the decision to charge Boggs' mother would be left with the Kanawha Prosecutor's Office. The woman currently has custody of Boggs' 6-year-old son Jordan.
"You don't want to make any mistakes on a case like this," Gordon said. "We can't bring this baby back, but hopefully we can get some justice for her."
Warrants out of Putnam County also were served on Leslie Boggs on Wednesday. She was accused of entering a vehicle in Winfield and stealing prescription pills that were inside.
Winfield Sgt. Gary Chandler said it happened the evening of Sept. 14 in the parking lot of the State Police detachment. She had been dropping Myers off at a class at the Prestera Center nearby, according to a complaint filed in Putnam Magistrate Court.
Police said Boggs parked next to a black Jeep that belonged to a man who was also attending the class. She got out of her vehicle and climbed into the driver's side of the Jeep where she went into the center console and removed a bottle containing 38 Suboxone pills. She got back into her vehicle and when Myers finished his class, the pair left.
Boggs was charged with child neglect resulting in death in Kanawha County and entering an automobile, petit larceny and simple possession of a controlled substance in Putnam County. She is being held on $500,000 cash only bond.
Contact information for Raynna Boggs' father could not be located.