A New Jersey mom suffocated her toddler son last year because she felt he was getting in the way of her extramarital affair, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The heinous allegation was made Wednesday during a detention hearing for 41-year-old Heather Reynolds, the mother charged with murder and child endangerment in her son’s May 2018 death.
Camden County prosecutors said Reynolds suffocated her 17-month-old son, Axel, by holding a cleansing wipe over his nose and mouth. Her attorney said Reynolds had nothing to do with the death.
Reynolds ran from her Gloucester Township home the morning of May 10, holding an unresponsive child in her arms, and screamed for help from neighbors. Emergency crews found the boy on the lawn of his family’s home.
Assistant Prosecutor Peter Gallagher said the boy had bruises around his mouth and nose. Reynolds told EMTs her son may have drunk something poisonous, Gallagher said. She changed her story when an EMT noted that her son had clearly been dead much longer, he added.
Witnesses told police that Reynolds had taken methamphetamine the night before and into the morning, Gallagher said. The allegation was confirmed after residue was found in her purse, he added.
A review of her text messages revealed she was having an extramarital affair while her husband was out of state on business, nj.com reported.
“[W]itnesses also told detectives that the defendant had expressed the sentiment that her toddler son, the victim A.R., was an obstacle to her relationship with her boyfriend,” Gallagher said.
A judge ruled that Reynolds will remain jailed until her trial, noting that she faces a possible life sentence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.