Cleburne mom caught on video trying to suffocate baby, police say

Video reportedly shows a Cleburne mother trying to suffocate her baby. Her previous child died in a similar manner.

According to an arrest affidavit, 22-year-old Shawna Bieber took her 6-month-old daughter to Cook Children’s Hospital in February because she claimed the child was not breathing and turning blue.

The nurses and doctors initially couldn’t find anything wrong with the baby. But the affidavit states that while still in the hospital on Feb. 7, Bieber summoned nurses because she said the little girl was blue.

The nurses found her “very blue” and “still limp and disturbingly lifeless.” They quickly transferred her to the ICU.

In several other instances, doctors and nurses reported the baby seemed normal and healthy one minute, and then blue or pale with an elevated heart or respiratory rate the next minute. They couldn't find a medical reason for her breathing problems.

Doctors became suspicious and put Bieber and her baby in a room with hidden cameras.

In video captured on Feb. 15, Bieber appears to tighten her grip on the baby while rocking her and bending forward. Investigators observed that the baby kicked for several seconds before going limp. Then an oxygen monitor alarm went off.

“The monitor goes through 2 cycles of audible alarms while the suspect maintains her position with the victim and the victim’s leg remains limp. After the alarm is sounding for at least 30-45 seconds, the suspect leans a lifeless victim back from her chest and places the victim on her back in the crib. The suspect bends down and appears to push the nurse call button,” the affidavit states.

The incident happened less than an hour after Bieber was told that her daughter was being discharged from the hospital.

According to the affidavit, Bieber also had a 4-month-old daughter, Annabelle, who died in 2016 under similar circumstances.

Although the Tarrant County medical examiner officially ruled that the little girl died from complications due to pneumonia, doctors told investigators the pneumonia was likely a byproduct of her being on a respirator for four days.

The doctors said Bieber's other daughter was already unresponsive and not breathing when she brought her to Cook Children’s Hospital in 2016.

After the Feb. 15 incident, the arrest warrant affidavit states Bieber told relatives that her first daughter had come back as a demon and was trying to take her new baby away. She told them she put her hand over the child’s mouth to get rid of the demon.

Those comments prompted Bieber’s relatives to take her to a mental health facility in Cleburne. There she later told them she couldn’t remember whether she had hurt her daughter or not.

However, Bieber’s relatives told investigators that she never mentioned demons while her daughter was being treated in the hospital. Instead, she kept them updated on the baby's condition, the affidavit states.

“What finally occurred to my clients, was that they never saw the beginning of the process. In other words, the child is pink and healthy, and turns blue before their eyes. It’s always the mother saying, from the other room, ‘She’s turning blue. Come take a look. Come help me,’” said attorney Christopher Cooke.

Bieber is now being held at the Tarrant County jail on two counts of injury to a child. Her bond was set at $30,000.

The baby she’s accused of trying to suffocate is in Child Protective Services custody with a foster family.

The little girl reportedly hasn’t had any breathing problems since being removed from her mother’s care and is described as a “normal, healthy, happy child.”