Fulton woman charged with manslaughter in the death of her child
Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 12:16 PM
Robert A. Baker / The Post-Standard

Fulton, NY -- A Fulton woman is charged with manslaughter in the death of her nine-month-old daughter, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office announced.

Sara E. Landers, 22, of 216 Rochester St., was charged with the felony today after an investigation by the sheriff’s office determined she recklessly caused the death July 5 of her daughter. The child was left unattended inside a hot trailer, Sheriff Reuel Todd said.

The girl was identified in court documents as Reba J. Barton. The child was identified in her Post-Standard obituary as Reba J. Landers.

According to accusatory instrument filed with the court, the child was left in “a closed camper/trailer” that did not have a working air conditioner for more than two hours while the temperature outside was over 90 degrees.

Deputies were called on 97 Kings Road in Volney after a 911 call reporting an unresponsive child. Deputies were called on July 5 to a report of an unresponsive child in the town of Volney. When deputies got there, they found that the mother had left her daughter inside a camping trailer at a Volney residence, Todd said.

Landers is married to Richard Landers, Todd said. Richard Landers has not been charged, he said.

The Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Landers’ child died of environmental hyperthermia, which literally means high heat. Hyperthermia happens when a person's body produces or absorbs more heat than it can get rid of through sweating.

Todd said that if heat becomes so much that it causes a death of a child, it doesn't matter where the parent left that child, it is criminal act.

The arrest stemmed from a collaborative investigation by the sheriff’s office, the Oswego County Coroner’s Office, the Oswego County Department of Social Services and the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Landers was arraigned in Volney Town Court and ordered held at the Oswego County Correctional Facility on $20,000 bail or $40,000 bond.