Prosecutors have lodged manslaughter charges against a 26-year-old woman they say went on a drinking binge before giving birth in the bedroom of her Rogers home last winter.
Prosecutors say that Rianna Cameron had a blood-alcohol content of .183 when officers showed up at her home about 8:40 p.m. on Dec. 30 and found the just-born baby girl, who had come out blue with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Cameron was tested again less than an hour later at a nearby hospital and her blood-alcohol concentration registered even higher, at .21, prosecutors say.
Cameron told police that she had been on a "bender" since 5 p.m., having downed a 1.75-liter bottle of bourbon, according to court filings.
After obtaining a search warrant for Cameron's medical records from Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, where she received prenatal care from October 2018 to January 2019, authorities issued a warrant for her arrest on Wednesday, charging her with second-degree manslaughter.
Police were summoned to the scene by Cameron's fiancé, who was downstairs watching a movie when he heard screams coming from the upstairs bedroom. He found the unconscious baby lying on the bed, partly covered by Cameron's pants, and tried to resuscitate her while calling 911.
After paramedics took over CPR, they detected a faint heartbeat and an ambulance took the infant to a nearby hospital, where she died.
An autopsy concluded that the baby, named Avery, died from "complications of acute ethanol intoxication and unsupported delivery," with toxicology testing showing that the baby's blood-alcohol level was .234, the filings said.
"This level of intoxication would cause a sedation of the central nervous system and affected breathing and heart rate," a search warrant affidavit filed in the case read.
Investigators later consulted a pathologist who determined that even though she emerged a month premature, the baby otherwise would have been born healthy, according to the affidavit.
Prosecutors say that Cameron has a long history of drinking problems — having been civilly committed three separate times for alcohol abuse — and had several run-ins with child protection services. In 2015, authorities were notified when someone filed a report of "prenatal alcohol exposure" involving one of Cameron's two other children, and she was referred to a county program for addicted mothers, court documents say. In the months leading up to the infant's death, Cameron was enrolled in treatment but had been written up for drinking while pregnant, the documents say.
Cameron was also contacted by police at least twice in 2018, on July 24 and Dec. 15 — two weeks before the infant's death — about drinking while pregnant. She reportedly assured the officers that she understood the dangers and told them that she was back in treatment.
Online records show that she was booked into the Hennepin County jail on Thursday. No attorney was listed for Cameron, whose first court date hasn't been set.