Tatianna Noel Light (mug shot GCSO)

Authorities in Springfield are investigating the death of  2 month-old Kaiden Light who was allegedly smothered by his mother.

Police were called to a home on North Travis (they say they have been called to that home several times regarding abuse) yesterday (10-05-10) where they found the dead infant.  Prosecutors have filed second-degree murder charges against Tatianna Noel Light, 23, who is the only suspect in the infant's death.

Light allegedly told investigators that she fed laid the little boy shortly before 1:00 p.m. and laid him on his back on her bed for a nap, and went and started some laundry.  She says when she returned about 10 minutes later, "she noticed he had rolled onto his stomach, She checked on him and noticed there was blood coming from his nose and she cleared that from his nose and called 911."
Investigator Steve Schwind writes in the probable cause statement, "I responded to the hospital to assist with preliminary interviews. "She (Tatianna) rolled him over and noticed there was blood in his nostrils and he was not breathing. She took his clothes off, cleaned him, re-dressed him and performed CPR for about 30·45 minutes before calling a family member for advice." After that 911 was called.

Schwind writes that when confronted at police headquarters about discrepancies in her story, "Tatianna admitted to using pillows to suffocate K. L. (Kaiden). She described suffocating him for approximately one hour. During that time period she stopped and saw he was still alive, then continued until he was no longer breathing or moving."

Kaiden had been removed from the home about a week ago and placed in protective custody after abuse allegations arouse against his mom.  Kaiden had been back in his mother's care for less than 24 hours when he was pronounced dead.
Light is being held in the Greene County jail on $250,000 bond.
This is the third child death in the Ozarks in the last few weeks.  Two year-old Shady Hicks of West Plains died a few days ago after being scalded by hot water in a bath tub.  Also in Howell County, Willow Springs police are waiting for toxicology results in the investigation of the death of 6 year-old special needs child Zeke Breeds.  In Mountain Grove, authorities say a 9-month-old accidentally drowned in a bathtub.

UPDATE 12-16-13:

Tatianna Light pled guilty to second-degree murder for the suffocating death of her infant in October of 2010.

According to prosecutors, Light smothered her son Kaiden to death on October 5, 2010, less than 24 hours after she had regained custody of the little boy. When authorities were notified of Kaiden’s death, the defendant claimed that she placed him on her bed to do laundry and when she returned Kaiden had rolled over on the bed, was facedown, had blood coming from his nose, and was not breathing.

She claimed that she performed CPR on Kaiden for approximately 30 minutes before calling 911. She also admitted that she had cleaned Kaiden up, changed his clothes, did some laundry, and called a family member before calling 911.

Kaiden Light (family photo)

When Light was interviewed by Detective Steve Schwind on the day that Kaiden died, she initially stuck to the story that the two month old baby had rolled over and smothered by accident. At one point, she even suggested the family dog had smothered Kaiden by jumping on the bed and laying on Kaiden’s head.

When Detective Schwind confronted the defendant with the inconsistencies in her story, Light confessed to suffocating the baby with pillows. She admitted that she knew she killed Kaiden because he “quit moving” and “quit breathing.” When asked how long she suffocated Kaiden with the pillows, the defendant answered “over an hour.”

When Detective Schwind tried to clarify if it took Kaiden an hour to stop moving, Light responded, “He stopped and then I let go cuz I thought he was gone and then he started breathing again and it freaked me out and I was like ‘oh shit’ and I did it again. Because I seen the way he was, he was going to be mentally retarded.” She also said, “I finished it off because of the way he was acting.”

She said that she killed him because she was tired of everyone telling her that she wasn’t ready to have a child and she couldn’t take care of him.

Light told the detective that, during the time she was smothering Kaiden, she heard knocking on the door which was a Children’s Division investigator who was scheduled to do a home visit on that day and she ignored the door and continued to smother Kaiden.

After she confessed, Light asked police to take her to the “psych unit” and insisted that, if she went to jail, she would kill herself. She further told the officers that she knew “two things to say to be taken to the psych unit without going to jail.”

Light pleaded guilty without a plea agreement, therefore, she can face anywhere from 10 years to life (30 years) in prison when she is sentenced on February 21, 2014.


Corrigan Conklin said...

This article says he died on the 6th. He didn't. It was the 5th. I'm his Aunt.

Kathee Baird said...

I am so sorry for the date mistake and your loss, Ms. Conklin.