FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Authorities are searching for the parents of a 3-month-old girl who died last year after her parents allegedly gave her lethal doses of vodka to quiet her crying, police said.
Makeisha Dantus died in 2004 but her parents were not charged until last month. By that time, they had disappeared.
Detective Katherine Collins said Tuesday that the delay in charging the couple stemmed in part from their lack of cooperation.
"The last thing you're expecting is for a child to die of alcohol poisoning at age 3 months," she said. "A homicide case is very delicate, and they take time, unfortunately."
Makeisha's father called 911 on Feb. 14, 2004, because the baby was unresponsive, Collins said. The baby died at the scene.
According to a police report, the parents told officers that for about a month they had fed their daughter a bottle filled with a mixture of water, sugar and vodka to help her sleep.
Small quantities of alcohol have historically been used to quiet crying babies, but authorities said the amount fed to Makeisha was extreme.
The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the infant had a blood alcohol level of 0.47 percent. The legal limit for drivers in Florida is 0.08 percent.
Former Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Ronald Wright said that for a baby to ingest that much alcohol would be the equivalent of a 160-pound adult drinking 18 beers.
According to a police report, the final autopsy showed that the child had been fed fatal doses of alcohol shortly before her death and her liver indicated severe buildup of excess fat due to alcohol consumption.