Marco Mejia, deep in grief over the death of his 7-month-old daughter, is asking the public to forgive the baby’s mother, Lisa Marie Scalia, who allegedly was high on drugs when she accidentally rolled on to and smothered the infant on January 3. Olaia Marie Mejia, from Ventnor, N.J., died Friday morning at a children’s hospital in Philadelphia.
“Please everyone remember that Lisa Marie loved Olaia Marie … she definitely made the biggest mistake anyone can make but I refuse to believe she did this horrible act on purpose… ,” Mejia wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. “No one is in more pain than me except probably her… if I can forgive her I know everyone can forgive her… Please pray for her as well.. Thank you everyone for all the love.”
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Scalia, 31, remains in jail on $100,000 bail after initially being charged with child endangerment and drug possession, according to a Press of Atlantic City report. Police says Scalia had 34 bags of heroin and 10 oxycodone pills, according to the article. It’s unclear whether additional charges will be filed on the heels of the baby’s death.
Facebook commenters have applauded Mejia’s bighearted forgiveness.
“You’re a good man Marco. Holding onto hate and blame won’t bring her back,” wrote Jackie Chalmers. “I can’t imagine how Lisa is feeling and anyone who thinks this might have been on purpose is an idiot.”
Commenters seem supportive of the baby’s mother, whose Facebook page is filled with pictures of the adorable infant, and a July request for friends to vote for the baby in an online “cutest baby” contest.
After the tragedy, a friend of the young mother wrote on the Press of Atlantic City site, “As a friend of Lisa’s I know her struggles. Addiction is a desease [sic] and only when your [sic] tired and ready to change will you then recover…hopefully this sad situation is her breaking point and will make her realize that the lifestyle she was living is not life but killing her slowly.”
Reports say emergency medical personnel were able to revive the baby after they arrived at her mother’s house and found the infant unconscious. They then transported the child to a hospital.
Marco’s Facebook page is like a timeline of the hope, fear, despair, and forgiveness he’s felt during this tragedy.
A little after midnight on January 5, two days after the accident, he asked everyone to “please keep praying for my little baby girl… she is in bad shape! But I know she is a fighter because she’s a mejia… and if we all pray together we can give her the strength to survive this…” Later that morning, he asked friends and family to visit the hospital and lend support. “… I cant [sic] do this alone the pain is to great.”
On January 7, he announced, “these will be my daughters [sic] last days,” and asked supporters to give him privacy to “allow me the time to say bye to my little princess.” A few hours later he wrote, “Please everyone who is cursing out, using vile words towards Lisa Marie, I ask you to please stop.”
Finally, on Sunday evening, after the baby died, the grieving father posted a picture of the smiling infant standing on his stomach. “If the good die young you were the best of us all,” he wrote. “My darling my angel the brightest star of them all…your mommy and daddy will never forget…. your eyes and your smile those chubby lil legs….this pain is insane but love will prevail… I find peace in my heart knowing god needed you there…”