A young American mother has been accused of baking her newborn daughter to death in an oven.
Mariah Thomas, 26, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after one-month-old Za’Riah Mae was found dead with ‘burn wounds’, according to an arrest warrant.
Cops were called to the mom’s Kansas City home to reports of a child not breathing on Friday, the day after Thomas’ birthday.
When they arrived, they found the infant covered in burns, with her ‘blackened’ clothing melted onto her diaper.
A devastated friend of Thomas’ told DailyMail that Za’Riah was a ‘very bubbly’ baby, who was ‘smiling all the time’.
She also suggested Thomas’ mental health may have played a role in the tragedy.
‘Mariah had mental issues from what I know and didn’t have the mindset of an adult, she thought like a child,’ the friend said, adding she last talked to the mom on Monday.
Za’Riah’s grandfather told police he received a call from her mom at around 1pm on Friday in which she told him ‘something was wrong with the baby and he needed to return home immediately’.
On returning home, he immediately began to smell smoke and found Za’Riah dead in her crib. Thomas told him she had ‘accidentally’ put her in the oven, according to court filings.
Za’Riah was discovered by police in a car seat inside her home with ‘apparent thermal injuries on various parts of her body’.
She was wearing a bodysuit over a diaper which appeared to have melted onto it and was ‘very dirty, possibly burned’. A charred baby blanket was also discovered and taken as evidence.
Thomas was transported to police headquarters for an interview where she invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. But she consented to detectives obtaining a blood draw and accessing her phone data.
Thomas’ social media presents her as a doting mom, who referred to her daughter as her ‘princess’.
In one disturbing post made just weeks before the tragedy, Thomas complained that nobody was looking out for her.
‘Mfs claim they my friend by don’t never check up on me or Za’Riah,’ she wrote on January 20.
Thomas is currently being held at the Jackson County Detention Center.