9-month old dies in hot minivan
Foster mother said she had taken prescription medication, forgot baby was in vehicle
By CHRISTIAN BOONE, CRAIG SCHNEIDER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A 9-month-old girl died Tuesday after her foster mother said she forgot the infant inside a hot minivan for more than two hours, officials said.

Jackson County sheriff’s deputies are still investigating Wendy Osborne’s account. The 29-year-old Nicholson woman told Jackson County Sheriff deputies that she came home from a doctor’s appointment about 2:30 p.m., unloaded her two adopted girls but forgot about the baby in the car seat.

Metro and state news Osborne, a foster parent for five years, said she took a nap, waking around 5 p.m. Maj. David Cochran of the sheriff’s department said at that point she remembered the baby in the minivan.

State Child Advocate Tom Rawlings identified the girl as Jessica Marie Scovil. The infant, who had lived with Osborne for five months, was pronounced dead by emergency personnel called to the scene, Cochran said.

Osborne told deputies she had been sick for several days and was prescribed medication for strep throat, which may have contributed to her drowsiness. A toxicology report has been ordered, and charges could be filed.

Two other foster children who had been living with Osborne were removed from the home, Cochran said.

The state Division of Family and Children Services, which oversees the foster care system, is also investigating the death, said spokeswoman Dena Smith. She said there had been no indications of problems with Osborne as foster mother.

Rawlings said if Osborne’s version is correct, he would tend to oppose criminal charges.

“I usually look at these kinds of situations as there but for the grace of God go I,” he said.