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WEST VALLEY CITY — A West Valley City mother has been charged with murder in the death of her infant son last year.
Kimberly Hawkins, 24, was charged Tuesday after a medical examiner found evidence that her 13-month-old son, who died Jan. 23, 2014, may have been suffocated. The child's name was not released.
The 13-month-old had teeth marks on the inside of his upper lip, which could have resulted from his lip being pressed against his teeth as he was smothered, and three small bruises were found under his chin, the medical examiner reported.
The medical examiner was unable to determine the baby's cause of death, but ruled out natural, toxicological and disease-related causes, according to the charges filed Tuesday. The medical examiner specified that the boy was old enough to be able to "self rescue" from a position where he would have been suffocated, making accidental asphyxiation unlikely.
Hawkins "made several inconsistent statements" about her son's death, charging documents state.
Hawkins 'made several inconsistent statements' about her son's death.
Hawkins, who was the only adult in the home at the time, told detectives that on the morning her son died she could hear him awake and playing in his crib, making noises with toys and throwing his sippy cup against the wall.
About 15 minutes after hearing the boy playing, Hawkins went to get her son up for breakfast and found him unresponsive, not moving, with his lips turning blue.
Hawkins then called her boyfriend, who had left her house a short time before, and told him the baby wasn't breathing. The man told Hawkins to hang up and call 911, which she did just before 11 a.m.
The woman later told detectives that her boyfriend did not kill her son and that he didn't suffocate on anything in his crib. Hawkins also "volunteered that if she were in the position of detectives, she would think someone suffocated her baby with either a hand of something like a blanket over his face," charges state.
Hawkins' boyfriend reported that the baby was awake and playing when he left for work about 10 a.m.
Hawkins is charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony. A search of Utah court records reveals no significant criminal history.