Mother arrested in Suffolk baby death investigation

Suffolk police said the infant had been left inside a car for an unknown amount of time.

SUFFOLK, Va. — Suffolk police say they have arrested a mother in connection to an infant death investigation.

On the afternoon of May 9, police said a mother brought her 5-month-old baby boy to a hospital, who was then pronounced dead. Suffolk police investigating the death determined the infant had been left inside a car for up to eight hours.

Police said the mother, 21-year-old Taina Sanford of Elizabeth City, had purposely left the child alone in her car while she worked.

According to court documents obtained by 13News Now, Sanford allegedly told police different versions of what happened on May 9.

At first, she allegedly told detectives that she never left her son alone in a hot car. Sanford said she did not go to work because of car issues and spent the day with her child.

Police said she later changed her story and said she did go to work. Sanford said she clocked in but worked remotely from her car with her child right next to her.

However, Suffolk police said they have evidence that tells a different story.

Investigators said they have surveillance video showing Sanford arriving at work and leaving her child behind in her car for several hours. They believe she went inside at 7 a.m. and left at 2:30 p.m.

Sanford brought the 5-month-old boy to the hospital at 3 p.m. and the child later died at Bon Secours Hospital.

Sanford was arrested and charged with murder, child abuse, and child endangerment on Wednesday. She is currently being held without bond at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

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“Any time there’s a loss of a child, it’s just a very tragic event no matter if it’s by natural means or by accident or by some other means,” he said.