Baby found on floor furnace dies

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

JOPLIN, Mo. -- A 10-week-old boy found on a floor furnace died of excessive heat caused by third-degree burns to his back, legs and buttocks, an autopsy showed Tuesday. His mother was arrested.

The baby's father arrived home late Sunday and found the baby on the floor furnace and the baby's mother asleep, Jasper County Coroner Ron Mosbaugh said.

The baby had a 106-degree temperature when the parents took him to the hospital, Mosbaugh said.

The baby died about noon Monday at a Springfield hospital.

Preliminary results of autopsy showed the baby died of hyperthermia due to heat from his injuries, said Dr. James Spindler, Greene County Medical Examiner. The baby suffered third-degree burns to 30 percent of his backside. There were no other signs of abuse, he said.

Spindler said he wasn't ruling the death accidental or a homicide because the investigation was continuing.

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