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Baby stuck behind bed dies, parents charged

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ANKENY, Iowa — Authorities say a baby whose parents have been charged with child endangerment died after becoming wedged between her bed and a wall.

The Des Moines Register reports that the Polk County medical examiner says the 7-month-old from Ankeny likely died of “positional asphyxia” last August and that the infant tested positive for cocaine metabolite, a breakdown product of cocaine. Examiner Gregory Schmunk says cocaine can be transmitted between baby and mother via breast milk, but he could not confirm how the drug got into the child’s system or when.

Thirty-three-year-old Michelle Atwell has been charged with child endangerment causing substantial risk, and several drug counts. Forty-eight-year-old Matthew Cohara has been charged with child endangerment causing no injury, and drug counts.

Cohara has said their daughter’s death was an accident.



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