Hugged to death: Babysitter in Taiwan smothers baby while getting him to sleep

PHOTO: Video screengrab

She was just trying to get him to sleep, the woman said.

A babysitter in Taipei is believed to have suffocated an 11-month-old boy to death on Monday (April 1).

He was an active baby, so she hugged him to coax him to take an afternoon nap, the 40-year-old woman told the police.

But CCTV footage showed otherwise.

As he laid on a sleeping mat, she was seen wrapping her arms around the boy's head and slinging her leg over his bottom.

With his face tucked against her body, the tot struggled to breathe.

He tried to break free of the woman's hold by flailing his arms and wriggling his body, but her hold tightened.

When he stopped moving 19 minutes later, the babysitter let go of the boy to attend to other children, not knowing that she had smothered him to death.

The motionless boy went unnoticed until a kitchen staff tried to wake him during snack time. By then, 40 minutes had gone by.

When she turned him over to his side, the baby's body had become stiff. Alarmed, she called for help while the babysitter performed CPR on the child.

Paramedics arrived a few minutes later, but it was already too late. He had stopped breathing and had no pulse.

The boy was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

His heartbroken mother told Taiwanese media that the babysitter had kowtowed to her family to apologise, but it won't bring back her only child.

Since the tragic incident, the principal of the childcare centre only called once to say sorry, she added.

The babysitter was detained for a case of negligent manslaughter.

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lamminlee@asiaone.com