11-month-old child hospitalized after she was trapped under her father’s decomposing body

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — It easily could have been a double tragedy, the coroner said.

Jason Fields, 43, of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, placed his 11-month-old daughter, Betty Jean Kelly, at the head of his bed while he sat on the edge of the bed with a laptop, Sabine Parish Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers said.

Fields had a lengthy medical history, and at some point last week — Rivers estimated it was Tuesday — Fields collapsed, likely from a cardiac arrest, Rivers said.

“He fell backward, falling onto the 11-month-old infant, trapping the infant under his body,” the deputy coroner said.

There was no indication Fields attempted to move off his daughter, leading Rivers to believe he was dead instantly.

On Friday evening, Fields’ son went to a nearby relative’s house to report that his dad appeared to be dead.

It’s not clear what the boy did in the days after his father’s death. The boy’s age was not immediately available (local media reported 3, 4 and 5). The girl’s mother, Robin Kelly, was incarcerated in Sabine Parish Jail at the time, Rivers said.

“The little boy goes next door to a relative’s house and explains to them, ‘I think my daddy is dead,’ ” Rivers said.

The relatives were incredulous, Rivers said. They finished some ironing and other chores before taking the boy back home.

When they went to the house, they realized from the smell emanating from the front door that the boy’s account was accurate, Rivers said. They quickly found Betty Jean under her father.

“The child was wedged underneath the decomposing body, face up, saturated in body fluid, unable to move,” Rivers said, adding that Fields’ body was “huge” at that point from the gases that had built up.

An investigation ruled out foul play, suicide and drug overdose, Rivers said.

Betty Jean was dehydrated, had developed blisters on her back and chest, and bore a black mark on her forehead, which the deputy coroner assumes resulted from being pressed into a wall for days.

Betty Jean was airlifted to University Health Shreveport for treatment, and Rivers said he spoke Monday to the girl’s aunt, who told him the hospital planned to release the child, “which is awesome news,” he said.

“How the baby survived is just remarkable. If we’d had another day, we’d probably have another outcome,” he said.

Robin Kelly had fewer than two weeks left on her sentence, and a district judge granted her an early release to take care of the children, Rivers said.

It’s not clear why Robin Kelly was in jail. Calls to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department were not immediately returned.


  • Jenna

    Im sorry, but this article makes no sense. She was trapped for 3 days, but the older brother told the neighbors. How did the brother not know something was wrong for 3 days? My thoughts and prayers go out to this sweet little boy, and the rest of the family. Shame that the mama is in jail.

  • Beth

    1st referred to baby as “him” but it’s a girl. I don’t understand if the 3 yr old told the neighbor his dad was dead, then how was his daughter trapped for 3 days? This story seems to either be missing details or is just poorly written beacuse I am confused!

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.