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After baby drowns, unsupervised in bathtub, Iowa mom charged with felony child endangerment



This news story was published on August 5, 2016.
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PELLA, IOWA – An Iowa mom allegedly left her 13-month-old baby in a bathtub for over 30 minutes and the child drowned, and now the woman is behind bar facing a felony.

After concluding a six week investigation, on August 5, 2016, law enforcement authorities placed Anna Sothman of Pella under arrest charging her with Child Endangerment Causing Death, a class B felony under Iowa Code 726.6A (726.6(4)). The criminal charge stems from the death of Elaine Sothman of Pella, the daughter of the accused. The decedent, a 13-month-old child, was under the care of her mother, Anna Sothman, at the time of the incident.

The facts of the case are as follows:

On June 20, 2016, the Pella Police Department received a 911 call of an unresponsive child at a Lincoln Street residence in Pella. Pella police officers and Pella Community Ambulance personnel arrived on scene and immediately determined that Elaine Sothman was unresponsive, and began lifesaving procedures. Shortly thereafter, Elaine Sothman was transported to Pella Regional Health Center by Pella Community Ambulance, then transferred by Life Flight to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.

On June 23, 2016, at 9:46 AM, hours Elaine Sothman passed away at Blank Children’s Hospital. Her death was later attributed to fresh water drowning by the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Criminal investigators from the Pella Police Department and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) determined that on June 20, Anna Sothman placed her daughter, Elaine Sothman, into a bathtub of running water and left her unsupervised for more than 30 minutes. Upon Anna’s return, she found Elaine unresponsive in the water. Investigators determined that Anna Sothman’s leaving Elaine Sothman unsupervised in a tub of water for an extended period of time created substantial risk to Elaine Sothman’s health, and deprived Elaine Sothman of the necessary supervision appropriate for a 13-month-old child.

After consultation between the Marion County Attorney’s Office and investigators it was determined that criminal charges against Anna Sothman were appropriate in this case.

Charged: Anna Nicole Sothman 28 years old Pella, Iowa
Count 1:
Child Endangerment Causing Death Iowa Code 726.6A (726.6(4)) Class B Felony Penalty — Confinement of no more than fifty (50) years

On August 5, 2016, Anna Sothman entered a plea of guilty in Marion County Court to Child Endangerment Causing Death. Anna Sothman was transported to the Marion County Jail where she was held on no bond. A sentencing hearing will follow.

Anna Sothman

Anna Sothman

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11 Responses to After baby drowns, unsupervised in bathtub, Iowa mom charged with felony child endangerment

  1. Tommy Reply Report comment

    September 23, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    She left her kid to die! I feel for the child and others who really cared about this child. This white trash is a cave woman and has killed what GOD gave her.

    • Peter L Reply Report comment

      September 24, 2016 at 6:27 am

      I agree Tommy. She needs to be locked up for at least 20 years actual time. Society must not tolerate people who harm children. We all depend on caregivers to survive when we are in our most vulnerable stage of life. Those who violate that out of negligence or willful negligence must be punished severely. The message needs to be put out that society WON’T TOLERATE BABY KILLERS. A good mother would fall on her sword. There is no way to go on. She needs to join her baby at the cemetery.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 24, 2016 at 7:29 am

        The father was probably stoned on drugs so badly he didn’t care what happened to the child. Just like the child killer who post on here.

        • Anon Amos Reply Report comment

          January 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

          No.. The father was probably at work and the mom was tending to multiple children and tasks. Shame on you.

    • Anon Amos Reply Report comment

      January 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      on Jun 20, the incident happened where the baby was left in the tub with the water running (probably perfectly happy and playing with the mother’s intent to return before the water got higher, I’m guessing). A mistake to leave her unattended? Of course it was! We do not know how she became distracted, the media failed to report it. On the 21st, the child, Lanie, was breathing on her own and her oxygen levels were improving, because her mother, who loved her, called emergency services when an accident happened. With this logic you’d blame the doctors at the hospital for not saving her. This woman was not white trash, she was a busy woman. If you put all the mothers who had ever left their children for an extremely short time unattended (and their children were fortunate enough to be okay) in prison, we’d have quite a crisis of who is left to care for all the children without mother’s. Many mother’s have done this (just leaving for a second or two), and never faced the consequences because their children didn’t die when they could have. Let’s jail all the parents whose kids drown in swimming pools. Let’s jail all the mothers whose children choke on small objects and die. They should have prevented it. No matter if an older toddler that could climb handed them the object they choked on while mom wasn’t looking. The mother is a murderer because she didn’t have an eagles eye on the baby who choked at all times. A couple seconds is all it takes folks. I pray none of you ever find yourself in her shoes. She deserves comfort, not condemnation. Then again, most people don’t even give more than one or two children a chance in the world, if any at all. Shame! May Anna experience comfort and help as she experiences a pain no mother can even think of experiencing.

  2. Anon Amos Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Can you folks even imagine her pain? She just lost her baby! She has other children, she was probably an extremely busy woman! And when she went to check on her baby (she checked on her baby, folks), she was not responsive 🙁 Could you imagine the pain! Yes, of course she should have checked on her baby sooner (or been there with her).. but what are these comments? Up to 50 years in prison??!
    This “crime” is something that not many years ago, people would have offered comfort and sympathy to this woman. Please put yourselves in her shoes. I hope something like this will never happen to any of you, but parents are not perfect people, and to take her away from her other children after she is heartbroken, just unthinkable. That itself is heartbreaking.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 6, 2016 at 8:50 am

    She left the kid with Trump.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 6, 2016 at 5:12 am

    put her in a cell full of Dikes

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 6, 2016 at 2:11 am

    drown her!