Mom shoe shopping online as tot drowns in tub

  1. Lakeville mom shoe shopping online as tot drowns in tub

    She was shopping online, complaint says; Dakota County attorney called death "tragic."
    By Kevin Duchschere, Star Tribune
    Last update: October 09, 2007 – 10:23 PM
    While a Lakeville mother shopped online for shoes, her 11-month-old daughter drowned in a bathtub upstairs, according to manslaughter charges filed against her on Tuesday."It's all my fault," Katherine Renae Bodem, 38, yelled after officers responded to a 911 call at the family's home on the afternoon of Aug. 25. According to the complaint, she repeated: "I'm so stupid."
    Bodem told police she had left Cecilia in the tub with her nearly 3-year-old brother for only a couple of minutes. When she no longer heard the kids playing, she went upstairs to check on them and found the boy trying to pull Cecilia out of the tub.
    Bodem's 10-year-old daughter, who was downstairs playing with her two other brothers ages 7 and 8, told authorities her younger brother and sister were in the tub for about 20 minutes while her mother was on the computer looking for shoes to replace a pair she had damaged.
    The girl said she heard Cecilia cry before her brother came downstairs and said, "Mom ... Cece," according to the complaint.
    Lakeville police went to the home in the 20500 block of Jupiter Avenue and found two women outside trying to revive Cecilia. Meanwhile, the complaint said, Bodem was in the yard saying repeatedly, "I'm so stupid. This has been a horrible year for me."
    Bodem told police she had tried to revive Cecilia by slapping her on the back and blowing air into her mouth. She said she thought Cecilia had stopped breathing for 10 minutes. Police found the tub was nearly full of water, with toys inside and outside the tub.
    After learning Bodem had been online, police used a search warrant to examine her computer. A forensic inspection showed websites and search engines had been used to look for shoes for 19 minutes before the 911 call was placed.
    Bodem was charged in Dakota County District Court with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one for negligence and the other for causing the death of a child through neglect or endangerment.
    "This is a terribly sad and tragic situation," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said. "We are not alleging this was intentional in any way. Nevertheless, we are alleging there was a significant lack of judgment that claimed a life."
    Bodem apparently hasn't had any contact with child-protection officials and has no criminal record, officials said.
    She was released from jail Tuesday on $20,000 conditional bail. The children will remain at home under the father's custody, Backstrom said, and Bodem may only have supervised contact with them. Calls to the family's home were not returned Tuesday.
    The episode is the latest of a number of recent incidents involving manslaughter charges against parents.
    Two weeks ago, a Minneapolis man was charged with second-degree manslaughter after his 7-year-old son was killed by the family's pit bull. Last month, Backstrom charged a Coon Rapids mother with murder and manslaughter in the drowning of her baby girl in Burnsville two years ago; in that case, the body has never been found.
    In May, a Maplewood mother was sentenced to four years in prison for aiding and abetting manslaughter, when her 2-year-old son died of blunt-force injuries after she left him with her drug-intoxicated boyfriend.
    If she is convicted, Backstrom said, officials would evaluate all the circumstances before deciding what sentence to seek.
    "Our sympathy goes to the family for their great loss," he said. "But we also believe this was a crime, and that's why these charges were filed."
    Kevin Duchschere • 612-673-4455
    Kevin Duchschere • kduchschere@startribune.com

    © 2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.
     
  2. What a sad story...
     
  3. thats terrible, one careless moment can change everything i guess....
     
  4. How very sad..

    Unfortunately, time seems to pass too quickly when you sit there searching..(I've ruined many a dish bubbling too long...) But kids in the bath or anywhere unsafe just doesn't go with attention being paid elsewhere (even the 3 year old shouldn't have been left alone..)
     
  5. You just don't leave children of that age alone in the bath. Never. Ever. Poor baby...and poor brother, trying to get her out.:sad:
     
  6. I Am Tears Reading This. That Poor Little Guy Trying To Help.
     
  7. The image of that 3 year old little boy trying to get his sister out of the tub almost made ME cry. And I'm tough. Or so I like to think...

    :wtf:

    How could this woman DO that? How could she even leave a bathub with her children--especially an 11 month old--in it?

    :crybaby:
     
  8. How incredibly sad. Stories like this infuriate me. If only her children were as important as her shoes.

    This should have never happened. You never ever,under any circumstances leave children that young alone in the tub. I hope the mother get the maximum penalty.
     
  9. Tragic
     
  10. (speechless)

    i have no kids and even i know that you don't fill the tub high with water, let alone leave kids alone in the bath.

    that's going to haunt her for the rest of her life...
     
  11. The woman is a total idiot and her kids suffered for it. Everyone knows that you never ever leave kids unattended in the bath. She deserves to feel as bad as she apparently does.
     
  12. I don't know what must have been going through her mind to think it was OK to leave her 11 month old in a bathtub with a 3 year old?? Especially with a tub FULL of water. I feel so bad for the little boy who was trying to get her out. That really is sad.
     
  13. I passed over the headline several times before actually reading it. Sometimes the news is so bad-and you don't want to get overwhelmed. But this happened in my own backyard.And it sounds like several of the kids tried to get her attention. Overwhelmed mom in need of a moments escape or neglectful, idiot mom???
    I'm glad I won't be on that jury.:sad:
     
  14. Oh my goodness, this is so sad. Every parent makes mistakes, and she probably knew better than this - but what a horrible way to have to pay for it...by losing your baby.
     
  15. Kids needs to be watched almost 24/7! At least when they're out of their cradle. What a moron! One life gone just because of her. :cursing: