Mother charged in death of baby; 7-month-old Lamya Hampton found unresponsive in car seat in Lawndale apartment

December 12, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Her two young siblings were also in the home.

Criminal charges have been filed against the Lamya's mother. Police say that 25-year-old Erica Hampton has been charged with felony child endangerment. The charge comes after police questioned her in her daughter's death.

Lamya was found Wednesday afternoon in her family's West Side apartment in the 3700 block of West 13th Street after her 2-year-old sister went looking for food.

Verna Pearson claims the girl also asked her for help.

"I seen this little girl out here and she was by herself and she said she was hungry, and I gave her something to eat. I gave her an apple, an orange and I gave her a doughnut and a hot chocolate," Pearson said.

The baby was found as temperatures across Chicago dipped below zero but police could not say if the apartment was heated.

Another woman who lives across the hall says the child also asked her for food.

When the concerned neighbor decided to check in the children, she found the infant strapped in a car seat on top of a bunk bed and wrapped in a snow suit and blanket.

The baby appeared to be dead.

The neighbor called 911.

"I think it's sad, depressing that somebody would leave a baby out there in the cold, lonely. I think it's depressing and sad," said neighbor Dantrell Wiggins.

Lamya was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Her two sisters, ages 2 and 6, were also taken to the hospital for a checkup but appeared unharmed.

Many in the neighborhood can't understand how this happened.

"Why would she leave the kid alone like that in the car seat, wrapped up? We were thinking maybe she was in a rush to go somewhere, but why would she leave the kids alone like that?" said neighborhood resident Andre Dyer.

Authorities found the baby's 25-year-old mother about two blocks away and took her into custody.

Both the baby's sisters remain in protective custody of The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as they investigate, adding it's had no prior contact with the family.

This as a neighborhood remains in shock.

"It's heartbreaking, a small child like that, that's sad," said Meko James, friend of the baby's mother.

Thursday afternoon, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said they are still trying to determine what caused the infant's death.

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