Texas Mom Charged After Allegedly Falling Asleep Texting While Baby Drowned In Bathtub

A few months after the shocking death of her baby, a 21-year-old mother has been arrested and charged.

According to online court records obtained by People on Monday, Victoria Tristan was charged last week with injury to a child, a first-degree felony. This charge comes five months after her 1-year-old drowned in the bathtub of their Round Rock, Texas apartment.

The criminal count stems back from a January 18 incident in which the child, whose name and sex have not been released by authorities, was allegedly left unattended in the bathtub. According to an affidavit obtained by KXAN, Victoria told officers that she put her baby in the bathtub. She left the water running while washing. However, after a few minutes, Victoria then left the room while texting relatives on her phone. She went to relax on a bed, but when she leaned over to rest her head she ended up falling asleep. Authorities believe she was asleep for only about 10 minutes. However, that’s all it took.

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When Victoria eventually woke up, she ran into the bathroom to find that her baby had been submerged in water that was overflowing from the tub. Speaking to police, Victoria claimed she tried CPR but was unable to revive the unresponsive child.

It seems while the 21-year-old was trying to save her baby, she may have spent some time looking up how to do CPR rather than calling 911 right away. Investigators recovered cell phone data that shows she was texting for five minutes before an eight-minute gap in activity, aligning with authorities’ belief that she was away from the child for about 10 minutes while texting family and napping. The mother also allegedly searched on YouTube for about four minutes before ultimately calling 911. About three minutes later, the first responding officer was at the scene.

The Travis County Medical Examiner stated that the cause of death was drowning and ruled it an accident, the affidavit said. But it also insisted that the mother knowingly, by omission, caused serious bodily injury when she left the child unattended in the bath, leading her to receive the highest possible felony charge. If convicted, she could be facing 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

She remains in custody at the Williamson County Jail as of Thursday night. At this time, bond, plea, and attorney information have not been made available.

[Image via Williamson County Jail]

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