The women I spoke with told FOX Fort Wayne she's known the mother, LaDawn Johnson, for years. She says the death is a tragic accident. But police say on two separate accounts Johnson didn't call 911 when she should have.
LaDawn Johnson is charged with battery and 2 counts of neglecting a dependent. Police questioned Johnson yesterday because she took her dead baby to this in-home day care instead of calling 911.
Christina Rothgeb, was inside when Johnson showed up. She and her mother are close friends with Johnson. Christina says Johnson didn’t go to police because she was scared. Rothgeb says “Tragedies do happen and people do panic. And in that state where she had the baby, she panicked and she didn't know what else to do and she came to my mother for help.”
But Police say Johnson can't give them a good answer for why she never called 911. Raquel Foster, the spokesperson for the Fort Wayne Police Department says “It's very unusual. Most often parents do seek medical attention for their children. So that was troubling in this investigation and that is what caused the focus of het investigation to turn to her.”
The coroner says the baby died from a fractured skull and brain hemorrhaging. Johnson told the owner of the day care that she slipped on a trash bag and fell on the baby the night before the infant died. Police also noticed burn marks on the baby's chest and face. Those marks were never treated. Still, Christina defends her friend, “Under no circumstances do I think she did this deliberately. I don't think she would ever harm her children in any way.”
This case is a homicide. If the prosecutor moves forward with the charges, Johnson could have a hearing as early as Wednesday.