Police: Mother charged in infant's death after co-sleeping

Peach Bottom, Pa. (WTXF) Authorities say a Peach Bottom, Lancaster County woman has been charged in connection with her infant son's death. The boy suffocated as he slept, according to charges filed. Police say the mom disregarded previous warnings from doctors about co-sleeping after her 2-month-old died back in 2011.

Pennsylvania State Police say they charged 28-year-old Jessica Harper with criminal homicide, involuntary manslaughter, and endangering a child, regarding the July 12 death of the 2-month-old boy.

According to investigators, the infant was found deceased that morning at Harper's home in the 2600 block Robert Fulton Highway, Fulton Township.

Police say an autopsy determined the boy died of asphyxiation as he slept in a bed with his mother. The death was ruled a homicide, according to authorities.

On Thursday morning, State Police filed charges and arrested Harper at her home.She will be transported to Lancaster County Prison and held without bail.

The investigation revealed that Harper was warned numerous times by multiple medical professionals not to have the infant sleep in a bed next to her; Harper ignored those directives, police say.

Also, another of Harper's children, a 2-month-old, died of asphyxiation in Maryland in 2011 under similar circumstances, according to police.

In the Lancaster County case, a pediatrician warned Harper of the dangerous sleeping behavior six days before the boy died. Harper responded to those warnings by saying she was "going to do it anyway," police wrote in an arrest affidavit.

Harper demonstrated an "extreme indifference to the value of human life" by ignoring the repeated warnings of several doctors, police said.

Harper has other children. Local social services are involved in the care of those children.