Algoma mom charged with child neglect, drug possession after baby’s death
ALGOMA, Wis. (WBAY) - A 23-year-old Algoma woman is charged with causing the death of her 8-month-old baby who apparently drowned in a bathtub earlier this month. Cheyanne Wierichs is also charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
The criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News says police responded to a report of a person not breathing at Wierich’s home on Fourth St. on the afternoon of February 9. Officers found Wierich on the couch trying to give a baby CPR. The baby was pronounced dead at a hospital. An autopsy determined the cause of death was “probable drowning.”
Wierichs didn’t have a special baby tub or baby seat. She initially told police she left the infant in the bathtub to clean the kitchen and heard splashing which she thought was her 2-year-old son. She later told investigators she was watching a YouTube video while the children were bathing and left the bathroom for several minutes to connect her phone to a Bluetooth speaker.
The tub was draining when police went to check the water level and there were only a couple of inches left. Wierichs said she filled the tub to the baby’s waist level, which was only slightly higher than police had observed.
Police say they found a small bag with a white substance that tested positive for meth along with a glass pipe and other items, and a notebook with details of Wierichs’s addiction to meth and heroin.
Police say her apartment was a mess with feces on the floor, though Wierichs says it was chocolate pudding, and food rotting in a refrigerator that was unplugged. Wierichs told police the refrigerator hadn’t worked since last March.
The child neglect charge carries up to 25 years in prison. The meth possession charge could add three-and-a-half years.
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