COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A 10-month-old baby who was found drowning in a bathtub died because the mother left the child unattended, thus failing “to provide for the child’s safety,” a coroner has ruled.
According to an autopsy report, 10-month-old Reign Nall died of complications from drowning on Aug. 31, 2022, after her mother left Nall in their Franklinton home without another caretaker. The baby’s mother, Dierra Smith, 32, of Columbus, was arrested last September and charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, and felony and misdemeanor counts of child endangerment in Nall’s death.
According to the autopsy report, which pulled information from Columbus police, the EMS report from the incident and hospital staff’s initial consult notes, Smith left Nall unattended for about 45 minutes on the morning of Aug. 30 while she took her 6-year-old child to the bus stop. At the house were baby Nall and a 2 and 3-year-old, who the mother said knew how to operate bathtub faucets.
The coroner ruled Nall’s death a homicide, noting that because the drowning occurred in the family’s residence while the baby’s responsible caretaker was away, Smith’s “failure to provide for the child’s safety” contributed to Nall’s death.
“In essence, this is an act of omission rather than commission in that failure to provide for the child’s safety forms the basis for the manner of death and determination,” the coroner’s report read.
Smith has posted bail and is next due in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on March 13 at 9 a.m.