Trial date set for woman charged in baby daughter's death

Rachel McAfee. (Photo provided by John McAfee)
Indy Mom Rachel McAfee charged in death of baby girl
New details in baby's death

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A mother accused of leaving her baby girl in a freezing cold car where the child died will go on trial this summer.

After having multiple court appearances delayed, we're told Rachel McAfee made her first appearance in court on Friday.

She's charged with neglect of a dependent causing death after her three-month old daughter Emma died in early March.

Police believe McAfee was drunk at the time.

Rachel McAfee was in a hospital for severe frostbite injuries after police found her passed out in her SUV. Baby Emma was dead on the floor of the vehicle.

Court documents filed with the Marion County Clerk’s Office not only outline the condition of the mother when she arrived at the hospital, but also the moments that led up to the death of her baby.

After examining the body of Emma McAfee, the coroner determined the girl was no match against freezing temperatures.

Court documents reveal when officers found her on the passenger-side floor board of her mother’s SUV, the temperature at the time was approximately nine degrees. There were also signs of Emma's death being consistent with cold-related deaths.

Rachel's husband John spoke with Eyewitness News about reporting his wife and daughter missing from home.

“She was supposed to take my daughter to my parents house and didn't show,” said McAfee.

So John McAfee reported his wife and daughter missing when she failed to come home. He shared with Eyewitness News his wife also never made it to a schedule intervention meeting.

A woman living near John's parents' home on the north side of Indianapolis - about 23 miles from their own home - called 911 after finding Rachel in the SUV, lying across the center console, according to court documents.

The woman told officers when leaving home in the morning, she pulled up to the SUV and Rachel told her that everything was OK. Then she noticed Rachel holding Emma in her arms while wearing a coat. When she returned home that afternoon, the SUV was in the same parking space. This time, she noticed the same woman without a coat and slumped over, but obviously breathing. That’s when she made the 911 call for police to check it out.

Paramedics transported the 36-year-old mother to the hospital with frostbite and pronounced Emma dead on the scene. While searching for the mother's shoes in the SUV, officers observed a bottle of rum. That bottle was taken as evidence by crime lab workers after IMPD obtained a search warrant for the SUV.

A detective wrote in the court documents that while interviewing Rachel at the hospital, she appeared to be intoxicated. He also documented that she had short-term memory loss about Emma's death and had no concept of time.