Cause of infant’s death unclear | TheUnion.com
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Cause of infant’s death unclear

Authorities are investigating the death of an 8-month-old Grass Valley girl in a Colfax Avenue home.

The death of Jasmine Smith was reported at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday by her father, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which handled the emergency call. According to the family, the call was placed at a little after 10 a.m.

Although the home was the site of a methamphetamine lab bust last year, and the girl’s parents were both convicted on meth charges, a preliminary autopsy of the infant showed no initial signs of harm – intentional or accidental.



“The baby looked well-nourished, and there were no signs of trauma,” Chief Deputy Coroner Cathy Valceschini said.

After Jason Smith, the girl’s father, reported that his daughter was unresponsive, crews from the Grass Valley and Nevada County Consolidated fire departments went to the home on the 200 block of Colfax Avenue and found the child dead. According to CDF, there was blood on her face and around her nostrils.




“We are investigating everything having to do with the passing of the infant,” Grass Valley Police Sgt. Dave Remillard said. “We believe the investigation will go quickly.”

Remillard would not release details of the case “out of respect for the family and the death of their child,” and did not speculate on the possibility of any criminal charges.

“This is an extremely sad situation,” he said.

Desiree Smith, the baby’s mother, told a relative that everything was fine when she woke up at 6 a.m. in the family’s small apartment. The relative, who asked not to be identified, said the baby was dead when Desiree Smith awoke again at 10 a.m.

Last June, the Smiths were arrested when the same home was raided by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force, which searched the house and busted up what authorities described as a small methamphetamine operation less than a block from Hennessy Elementary School.

At the time, Desiree Smith was seven months pregnant.

Desiree Smith was sentenced Jan. 3 to 75 days in jail and three years of probation for one charge of opening a place to sell a controlled substance. She was released in early February to home detention, according to the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility.

Jason Smith was sentenced March 14 to 270 days in jail and five years of probation on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of the drug with the intent to sell it.


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