Three adults were charged after the weekend discovery of an unconscious one-year-old boy — who later died — and his injured three-year-old brother in a Harrah’s New Orleans hotel room, according to local police.
The one-year-old baby died about a half hour after being taken to a local Louisiana hospital. A medical examiner was to perform an autopsy on the baby.
Initial reports did not specify a cause of death. Late Tuesday, WDSU, a local TV station, reported the baby had drowned in a bathtub in the hotel room.
Based on autopsy results, relevant charges could be filed, according to WWL, another local TV station.
Soon after entering the 12th floor room of the hotel-casino at about 7:30 am Sunday, EMTs initially examined and treated the baby. The child was described as unresponsive and was quickly transported to a hospital, but died while undergoing emergency treatment.
The baby’s parents and another adult — believed to be a relative — were arrested after the injured three-year-old was seen in the room, according to The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, a local newspaper. The three-year-old had bruises and scratches on his body, WDSU reported.
Adults Face Criminal Charges
The adults, believed to be the boys’ parents, Billy Withers, age 27, and Shelbie Pinson, age 32, as well as the third adult, James Watkins, age 20, were each charged with cruelty to a juvenile in connection with the injuries seen on the three-year-old, The Times-Picayune said.
Pinson was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, the newspaper said. Police said they found a glass pipe in the hotel room during a search, the report adds.
Pinson, Withers, and Watkins checked into the hotel on Saturday. The children were believed to be with them at the time.
The Harrah’s New Orleans is undergoing a $325 million renovation. It will be renamed a Caesars Entertainment property.
Caesars has controlled the gaming property for more than two decades.
Las Vegas Police Continue Search
In an unrelated incident across the country, Las Vegas Metropolitan police were still searching for the woman who allegedly abandoned a three-year-old girl in a restroom in the Wynn Las Vegas casino last week. The child was left at the gaming property last Tuesday.
She was healthy and was quickly placed in protective services.
The suspected mother and the little girl were at the Fashion Show Mall shortly before the toddler was abandoned. The woman had been asking a taxi driver about local shelters.
In still another incident, last February a three-year-old autistic boy was left in an locked, unheated car for a half hour while his father went into Lincoln, Rhode Island’s Twin River gaming venue to place sports bets. The temperature was in the mid-30s on the windy winter’s day.
The father later was arrested for cruelty to or neglect of a child and obstructing an officer in execution of duty. The child was alone and seen by passersby in the car that was left in the Twin River Casino Hotel parking lot.
Also, last January, a Texas couple was charged with child abandonment after they allegedly left a sleeping toddler in a running car while they played electronic gaming machines in a Texas gas station.
While the couple were inside, two teenagers saw the running car and allegedly stole it. Later, the alleged thieves left the child in Houston’s MacGregor Park, which is located about 17 miles from where the car was left running.
Typically, children are not allowed on gaming floors.