Another heart wrenching story involving a baby to talk about. Well Dr. Jodie Edwards, who works at Cincinnati Christian University, left her 11-month daughter, Jenna, in her minivan and went to work. So, what is amazing to me is that there was the inference that somehow the day care was responsible for calling this mother to ask why her daughter was not dropped off. I don’t mean to accuse anyone of anything untoward, but dang, I have two kids and I have never forgotten them in my car at any time. Was she that stressed out that she forgot? Funny, too, how the media seems to be treating her with kid-gloves. I have heard of some black women who have done the same, atrocious thing, and they were actually incarcerated right away. So, what gives here?
According to media reports, Hamilton County Coroner O’dell Owens released a short statement today, saying available tests indicate Jenna died of hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an acute condition which occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate.Owens also said that when he arrived on the scene, Jenna’s temperature was 110 degrees and he took that temperature about an hour after Jenna was found.
In an interview with the “Cincinnati Enquirer”, Owens also reportedly stated that Jodie Edwards told police she couldn’t understand why her day care provider didn’t call her to let her know that Jenna didn’t show up that day.
This afternoon, Robert Fischer, an attorney hired to represent the Edwards family, released this statement in response to Owen’s alleged comments. It reads: “The words of Mrs. Edwards wishing that the child care provider had called were stated in the moments and hours after she had lost her precious daughter. She was then and continues to question all of the potential “what ifs” and “if onlys.” Neither Mrs. Edwards nor her family blames the child care provider for the loss of Jenna. Their hearts are broken. The Edwards family is suffering from this terrible tragedy. Words cannot express how bereft they have become. Pray for them and for their daughter, Jenna.” I don’t think they could possibly blame the day care for anything. It was her responsibility to do the right thing by her kids.
He also talked more about Jenna’s condition at the time he arrived on the scene. Owens said that her hands were clenched in fists and her skin was red and blistered. He also told Local 12 that in the past, Edwards had only made one stop for day care. But Jenna and her brother were staying with different providers, and the change in that routine may have contributed to Wednesday’s events.
Edwards called 911 Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. after finding her child in the van. In a calm voice, Edwards tells the dispatcher, “I went out to my car a few minutes ago and realized I left my baby in there. She died.” Later, Jodie says, “I just came inside to get help. I know she’s already gone. I’ll go out by the car, it’s in the parking lot, Lot number 2.” The operator asks Edwards to stay on the phone. Edwards says, “I will. I’m just in complete shock and barely able to do stand.”
Edwards is a professor in the counseling department and has taught mostly grad students at the university for two years. She also earned her master’s in counseling from CCU.
What’s ironic is that it is almost a year to the day that a vice principal’s daughter died outside her school in Clermont County. Brenda Nesselroad Slaby left her two-year-old daughter, Cecilia, inside an SUV outside Glen Este Middle School on August 23, 2007. Cecilia was not discovered for eight hours. Slaby was not charged because the death was ruled an accident, and did not rise to the level of recklessness.
Funny how everyone is trying to rationalize this situation. According to media reports, school officials have said Edwards had just started back for the semester and her child care routine changed. Psychologists have weighed in saying that a number of variables could have played into this tragedy. Psychologists say altering a pattern, combined with other factors could lead to a seemingly unthinkable memory lapse. The problem is that it seems that these prosecutors are very forgiving of such crimes for some people and are harsh towards others. Spin it anyway you want, this tragedy should have never occurred and if this woman isn’t charged for this crime, then it speaks to a serious double standard. I know this family is distraught and it is very gut-wrenching, but my goodness, the baby was not a bag of groceries.
The bottom-line is that this woman will live with this horrible feeling of guilt for the rest of her life. I just can’t see how you walk out of your vehicle, grab your purse and/or briefcase and take off, not looking back.