Mother charged in baby's death in Lancaster County

A Lancaster County woman who had been using methamphetamine is charged in the death of her 3-month-old daughter, according to investigators.

The baby was found unresponsive around 4:30 p.m. in a vehicle outside a home on Fairview Road near Prospect Road in West Hempfield Township.

"Preliminary information provided by witnesses indicated the child was left in the vehicle with the doors & windows closed for an undetermined length of time," a statement from the district attorney's office said. "The Lancaster County Coroner's Office pronounced the child deceased at 7:08 pm on Oct. 4, 2023. It was reported that the child died of environmental exposure, and that the vehicle doors and windows were closed and while parked in the direct sunlight with a high temperature of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday."

The child's mother, Emily Weaver, was arrested and has been charged with:
Third-degree murder
Involuntary manslaughter
Endangering the welfare of a child
Officials have not released the child's name.

Court documents reveal more details

WGAL obtained the affidavit of probable cause in the case, which reveals more details about what police say happened.

The document states that two people who know Weaver went to her home after learning she had not picked up her children from school. The two people were said to be aware that Weaver was addicted to drugs.

They found Weaver unresponsive in a second-floor bedroom. When they woke her up, they could not find Weaver’s 3-month-old daughter.

Eventually, they located the baby, who was “beyond help,” in the car seat of Weaver’s vehicle, according to the affidavit.

A West Hempfield officer who interviewed Weaver said she told him between Sunday and Wednesday she had "obtained and used methamphetamine." According to the document, she said she took her two other children to school Wednesday morning and returned home intending to use meth again, but didn’t remember taking it.

“Ms. Weaver expressed that she does not remember anything after returning home from school, until she was awakened,” the document states.

The affidavit also said that Lancaster County Children and Youth investigated Weaver multiple times between 2019 and 2023, including a 2021 investigation that resulted in her losing parental rights for her other two children.

The investigation into the child's death is ongoing. The district attorney's office is assisting West Hempfield Township police.
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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.