Mother arrested in 3-month-old girl's death

Rachel McAfee. (Photo provided by John McAfee)
Mother charged in baby's death
Mother charged in baby's death
Mother charged in baby's death

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Metro homicide detectives announced the arrest of 36-year-old mother Rachel McAfee in the death of her three-month-old Emma.

The announcement came about the same time the Marion County coroner started on the baby’s examination to determine the exact manner and cause of death.

That information is shared with IMPD homicide detectives as part of the ongoing investigation and charges expected against the Indianapolis mother.

Despite being under doctor's care, officers informed McAfee she faces a preliminary charge in her daughter's death.

Documents released on Thursday revealed that the detective on scene said McAfee appeared to be intoxicated when police arrived. A later search found a bottle of rum in the car.

The detective also said McAfee had "short term memory loss about the death of her child and no concept of time." It was about 9 degrees outside when police arrived to find McAfee and the baby.

Police also determined that the vehicle had run out of gas and the car's battery had died.

Eyewitness News was the first television station to sit down with her husband John McAfee Tuesday after her strange disappearance passed the 24-hour mark. That made John even more concerned about his family, especially his daughter.

3-month-old Emma McAfee. (Photo provided by John McAfee)

"My daughter is only 3 months old," said John McAfee.

Rachel's husband reported his wife and daughter missing after she failed to come home Monday evening. Her friends posted her SUV on Facebook to help find her.

Tuesday afternoon, a woman in a north Indianapolis neighborhood, about 23 miles away from the McAfees' home, noticed the SUV parked outside her house. She called police to check it out.

Deputy Chief Chris Bailey said, "They found our missing person, the mother and little Emma inside the vehicle, medics were called, the medics pronounced the infant, Emma, deceased here on the scene."

Paramedics transported Rachel to the hospital with at least some weather related injuries according to Bailey. However, he did not know about any other injuries at the time.

Police announced a preliminary charge of neglect of a dependent causing death.

Her husband shared some of her health issues with Eyewitness News during the interview at their home on Monday.

"My wife is not the most fit mentally currently and that's a big concern," said McAfee.

Rachel's work in Washington Township Schools includes Eastwood Middle School on East 62nd Street.

The district sent this statement to Eyewitness News:

"Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the family of Mrs. McAfee during this tragic time. Washington Township is providing counseling support for students and staff at John Strange Elementary and Eastwood Middle School."

Rachel McAfee will eventually be transported from the hospital to the Marion County Jail and is scheduled for an initial hearing to learn formal charges in the death of her little girl.

Filed under: