Kamaria Weston woke up Wednesday morning at about 10 a.m. to a phone call from her cousin, who said she heard that a baby had been found dead in the city in which her son was staying.
Weston was in California visiting her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day and had left her two-month-old, Jazon, with her friend at an apartment in Redmond, Washington—15 miles east of Seattle—for the week.
The 17-year-old mom said that she immediately feared the worst and started calling her friend and her friend’s boyfriend, but couldn’t get through. Weston said she then called the Redmond Police Department and requested they check on her son.
Around 3 p.m., a detective called to tell her the bad news. Her infant son was dead.
“I’m trying to hold up,” Weston told said. “I’m just trying to get everything together so I can, you know, lay him properly.”
According to police, an adult in the apartment unit called 911 at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, to say the child was unresponsive and not breathing. Medics responded and determined the infant was deceased. Police are investigating this as a suspicious death, but are not naming any suspects while the cause of death is being investigated.
“Basically, where we are in the investigation is hinging on the information from the medical examiner about the cause of death because it could go either way,” said Andrea Wolf-Buck, spokesperson for the Redmond Police Department. “So, we’re treating it as a suspicious death, but we don’t know until we hear from the ME if it was, you know, SIDS or another kind of horrible thing.”
On Wednesday, the two other children in the home were put in the care of child protective services, according to Wolf-Buck. Police are not releasing the names of the two adults in the home unless they become suspects and/or are charged with a crime. But Wolf-Buck said they have been interviewed by police, along with Weston, and other family and witnesses.
She said Redmond police have had contact with the residents of this apartment in the past, but she declined to offer any additional details.
Weston said she dropped her son off last Thursday at her friend’s apartment building along with milk, wipes, diapers, bags of clothes, and a stroller.
She said the arrangement initially went well.
“I called her every day, you know, to check on him,” Weston said. “He was doing perfectly fine.”
But at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Weston said, she and her cousin talked over video conferencing with the friend watching her child. The woman was in the bath, holding the boy to her chest, but seemed hesitant to show his face on camera, according to Weston.
When she finally did, they noticed the baby had a runny nose and his lips were turning blue.
Weston remembers both her and her cousin urging the friend to take the baby to the hospital. But, Weston said, the friend was in the home with her own one-year-old and two-year-old children and was worried that she wouldn’t be allowed to bring them on the ambulance with her. The friend decided to wait until her own boyfriend got home, Weston added.
Weston, who is herself in foster care in Bellevue, Washington, said she has known the woman who watched her son for several years and had actually lived with her in 2018.
“I used to be homeless and I would leave my now two-year-old, he was about two months, three months, when I would have her watch him, while I would go run errands and you know take care of my business with everything that I had to,” said Weston. “She would watch him with her newborn that she had also, because we had our children around the same time. And I’ve known her just for so long, you know, I trusted her.”
Weston said she’s planning to hold a candlelight vigil on Saturday evening. She also created a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to raise money for her son’s burial.
She said, “I just want justice for my child because he did not deserve this at all. He was so young.”