Infant Left In Cold, Father Faces Charges

January 13th, 2010 by

CARRIER MILLS (WSILTV)– Officials say a seven-month-old boy is fortunate to be alive. He was left outside his father’s apartment in the frigid cold Friday night.

Police have charged Joseph Leady, 22 of Carrier Mills with Endangering the Life or Health of a Child. Investigators say he left his infant son outdoors with nothing covering him on a night when temperatures dropped into single digits.

Investigators say Joseph Leady’s infant son was sitting in his car seat on the doorstep of his apartment only wearing a onesy. His head, face and hands, exposed to the bitter cold temperatures.

Neighbors heard the baby’s cries from this back porch about an hour-and-a-half after his dad brought him home. Before that, Police and witnesses say Leady was drinking whiskey at a friend’s apartment nearby. Cassie McGee says she saw Leady walk by earlier Friday evening, with his son in tow.

“I saw him carrying him across the front lawn,” McGee said.

News Three asked her if Leady appeared coherent at the time, to which she replied, “At the time yes, but other than that, no.”

Leady’s friends say they sent him home around midnight. They watched him walk to his door, and he seemed fine. But Carrier Mills Police say the baby never made it inside. He was left on the step while Leady fell asleep in a nearby apartment.

By 1:17 a.m., a neighbor called 911, reporting the child crying from his car seat. Carrier Mills Police Chief William Duncan says the child was visibly cold.

“He said he noted that his face and lips were starting to turn blue. He was cold to the touch,” Chief Duncan said. “He was in a light what is called a “onesy” type outfit.”

By the time the seven-month-old arrived at the hospital, he had a core temperature of 84 degrees. Hypothermia begins to occur at a body core temperature of 95 degrees.

Leady told investigators he took his sleeping medication at 8:00 Friday night, so when he woke up, he had no idea where he was or what had happened.

Leady remains in the Saline County Detention Center tonight facing misdemeanor charges. His estranged wife, who lives in Carbondale, now has custody of the boy. The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services is investigating.

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