Fort Worth baby found dead in locked closet

- Police are now investigating if a Fort Worth home was being used as an unlicensed daycare after a 9-month-old boy was found dead.

Authorities said the baby boy, who was reportedly locked in a closet, suffocated in an unbuckled car seat.

Police said officers got a call around 10 p.m. Monday about an unresponsive child. They found 9-month-old John Norris dead at a home on Woodpecker Lane. 

A woman was babysitting 10-11 children at the home when the incident happened, Fort Worth PD spokesman Brad Perez said. The house on Woodpecker Lane did not have a child care license.

The woman apparently put the baby in the master bedroom closet for a nap after it was fed and didn’t check on the child for at least two hours, according to police.

The bottom buckle of the car seat wasn’t fastened and the baby is believed to have slid down and choked itself on the strap. His death was ruled an accident.

"She put the baby down to sleep but did not want to put the baby on a bed by itself afraid he could roll over so she left the baby in the car seat is what she did," Perez said.

CPS says the home is not a registered daycare. It, along with the state's child care licensing division is investigating.

"I don't want to pass any judgment on this caretaker,” Perez said. “I do know that 10 and 11 children is a lot, and I don't know if this was the only adult supervision inside this location."

Neighbors of the Norris family from Weatherford are brokenhearted for the baby’s mother.

“It's horrible,” said neighbor Charles Smyth. “She would carry it to the car and put it in the car seat. Then, she’d take it out of the car seat and take it into the house."

CPS will try to determine whether the babysitter was the only adult there or whether she claimed to be a daycare operation. Police have not arrested her but didn't rule out the possibility of charges.

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