Police: 'Co-sleeping' baby deaths could have been prevented - KMOV.com

Police: 'Co-sleeping' baby deaths could have been prevented

(KMOV) -- Police are investigating the tragic deaths of two babies in 24 hours that could have been prevented.

The children belonged to different families.  Police want all parents to learn from their loss.

One of the moms told me that she didn't think sleeping next to her child could be so dangerous.  It's the story every parent needs to hear.  You think -- 'it can't, it won't happen to me and my kids,' but Friday night two families started planning funeral arrangements for their babies, and police say the little girls' deaths could have been prevented.

Friday morning Paris Gordon's mom called police when the 1-month-old stopped breathing.  Paris's death was an awful accident.  She was sleeping in the same bed as her mom and three other kids when she suffocated inside their North St. Louis apartment.

Less than 24 hours earlier, another little girl died the same way in South St. Louis.  The 7-month-old was also sleeping in the same bed as a parent and sibling.  It's certainly not illegal to sleep next to your child, but detectives warn that it is very dangerous.

"They think they can wake up, they think they can feel it when they're sleeping with their children," Det. Tonya Tanksley, child abuse detective with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said.  "They think if they'll roll over or that they can just sense somehow that they're on top of their children or that they can hear them cry.  They think they can take a small nap and wake right back up, but they're tired; they're moms, they're parents, they're tired and sometimes you can't just wake back up."

Detectives are now working to figure out if these were both just terrible accidents or whether negligence may have played a part.

If you can't afford a crib or pack-n-play for your baby, here is a list of resources for help:

SIDS Resources:


Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis:


Cardinal Glennon:


St. Louis Children’s Hospital:


Please click in the "related links" section to hear the entire interview with Det. Tanksley.

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