‘Horrible accident.’ West Kendall mom charged after infant left unattended in bathtub, drowns

·3 min read

A West Kendall mother has been charged with manslaughter after police said she left her 7-month-old son to drown in a bathtub while she did her nails in another room.

Alyssa Carolyn Jimmie, 22, appeared in Miami-Dade circuit court on Thursday, and was granted a $10,000 bond.

Her defense attorney, Pat Dray, described Jimmie as a loving stay-at home mother who has never before been in trouble. He called the arrest a “rush to judgment.”

“This is just a horrible accident and the family and Alyssa haven’t had a chance to grieve at all,” Dray said. “She is devastated about the loss of her child.”

The drowning happened on May 20 at a home on the 11500 block of Southwest 154th Avenue. According to an arrest warrant, Jimmie left the baby, Prince Mejia, and his 3-year-old brother in the master bathroom bathtub with the water running, with no drain cap. She left to the garage of the home, about 65 feet away.

She went to the garage to do her nails at an “at-home manicure station,” the warrant said. About five to 10 minutes later, she returned to the bathroom and found the drain clogged with a small face towel, the bathtub filled with water and Prince floating face down. The brother was playing alongside the baby.

Because her phone wasn’t working, Jimmie ran to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor called 911. The baby was rushed to HCA Florida Kendall Hospital, where doctors restored his heartbeat.

But the baby, who’d been without a heartbeat for 45 minutes to an hour, was presumed brain dead, the warrant said. On May 23, doctors pronounced the baby dead.

Jimmie later told Miami-Dade homicide Detective Paulo Klimick Pereira that the baby brother knew how to use a face towel to clog the drain, the warrant said. Detectives ran tests, and found it took just five minutes to fill the tub halfway using a face towel to clog the drain, 10 minutes to fill it entirely.

Miami-Dade Associate Medical Examiner Mark Shuman ruled Prince died of an accidental drowning. The warrant said Jimmie “failed to provide [Prince] with the proper care that a prudent person would consider essential to the well-being of a seven-month-old child.”

The warrant also noted that someone who identified himself as a “chief of the Miccosukee tribe,” contacted the Medical Examiner’s Office and “demanded” that no autopsy be performed on the baby. The tribe, in years past, has come under criticism for failing to cooperate with state authorities when tribal members have been under police investigation.

Jimmie is a tribal member.

But a spokesman for the tribe said Thursday that no member of the administration or tribal leadership contacted the Medical Examiner’s office, nor attempted to interfere with the probe. Instead, the spokesman said, a “vendor” assisting with burial efforts and working with the Miccosukees had called to ask for an “expedited” autopsy, to comply with tribal burial ceremonies.

“Somehow that got misconstrued,” the spokesman said. “We have good relations with the mayor’s office and the Miami-Dade police department and we’re working to iron this out and figure out what happen.”