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Published: Friday, 5/11/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Mother of 3-month-old boy who died arrested for child endangering

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Rebecca Steinmiller, 25, was arrested today on the third-degree felony, which alleges she failed to contact law enforcement or seek medical attention for her son for four days after discovering a serious injury to his arm. NOT BLADE PHOTO Rebecca Steinmiller, 25, was arrested today on the third-degree felony, which alleges she failed to contact law enforcement or seek medical attention for her son for four days after discovering a serious injury to his arm. NOT BLADE PHOTO
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BOWLING GREEN — A week after 3-month-old Carter Steinmiller died under suspicious circumstances, his mother is in jail charged with failing to seek medical attention for her son for injuries he suffered in the days before he died.

Rebecca Steinmiller, 25, of rural Bowling Green was arrested Friday and charged with endangering children.

The charge alleges she failed to contact law enforcement or seek medical attention for her infant son for four days after discovering a serious injury to his arm.

Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said Mrs. Steinmiller allegedly suspected Carter's arm was broken, and after the baby's death, he was found to have had a broken arm. "At this point we don't have any medical information directly linking the broken arm to the death," he added.

Dr. Douglas Hess, Wood County coroner, has not ruled on the cause of the baby's young death.

Mr. Dobson said the autopsy results could lead to more serious charges. "Like we said, the investigation into the child's actual death is still ongoing, so the potential exists for [other charges]," he said.

About 5:50 p.m. May 5, Mrs. Steinmiller called 911 crying and saying her baby was not breathing, that she and her husband could not resuscitate him.

"I need an ambulance right away," she told the dispatcher. "I just woke up from my nap, and my husband found my baby vomited. We're trying to resuscitate him. We can't get him to breathe, and I just woke up from my nap."

Emergency responders transported the infant from the family's Brim Road mobile home to Wood County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was conducted by the Lucas County Coroner's Office, but Dr. Hess has not released the findings.

Mr. Dobson said no charges have been filed against the child's father, Brian Steinmiller, 31.

According to the Wood County Sheriff's Office, Mrs. Steinmiller was booked at noon Friday at the Wood County jail, where she was being held without bond pending an appearance Monday in Bowling Green Municipal Court.

Endangering children is a third-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

Bowling Green Municipal Court records show that Mrs. Steinmiller -- then Rebecca Meredith -- has had a number of run-ins with the law.

She was convicted of domestic violence in 2008 and convicted of violating the terms of her community control in 2011.

She and two others were arrested in 2008 for conspiracy to commit murder stemming from a robbery attempt in Bowling Green, but those charges were dismissed before being presented to a grand jury.

A separate 2008 case in which Mrs. Steinmiller was charged with receiving stolen property also was dismissed, court records show.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-724-6129.



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