WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida mother is facing aggravated manslaughter charges after her 8-month-old daughter suffocated to death.
On the morning of Feb. 13, Journey LeBoeuf was found unresponsive and tangled in a blanket.
Investigators said her mother, Jada LeBoeuf, 19, left her unattended to go to a hookah bar in Orlando.
Jada initially told detectives she left the house around 3 a.m. to go to McDonald’s with a friend. She admitted to leaving the child unattended and said she did not want to wake up her family. Jada lived with her parents and her sister. She said she and her friend encountered trouble on the way home from McDonald’s, but detectives said that was a lie.
According to detectives, Jada left the house around 12:45 a.m. and headed to a Lakeland hookah bar with her friend. When they discovered it was closed, Jada and her friend headed to another hookah bar in Orlando and stopped at a McDonald’s in Kissimmee on the way home.
Detectives said Jada’s mother sent her a text around 4:45 a.m., asking where she was. Jada did not tell her family she had left without her daughter and never asked her mother to check on Journey. The family did not know the child was at home, tangled in the blanket.
Investigators said Jada failed to provide Journey with the care and supervision necessary to maintain her health and said that failure resulted in the infant’s death.
“This terrible tragedy was 100% preventable. It is beyond comprehension how a mother could leave her child alone for five hours. That beautiful little baby girl should be alive today,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
LeBeouf was booked into the Polk County Jail. No further details are available at this time.