Sheriff: DSS didn't follow up on complaint

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says social workers trying to find the mother of a 5-month-old child who died from an unmonitored heart condition waited weeks before contacting the medical professional who made the complaint to them.

The child's mother, 29-year-old Jennifer Coles, is charged with unlawful neglect of a child.

Lott says Coles' baby was premature and needed a monitor at all times to alert if he stopped breathing.

The sheriff says a medical worker contacted the Department of Social Services on March 3 to say that monitor was almost never used.

DSS says it tried to find the mother five times, but she moved around too much. Lott says DSS didn't call the medical worker for weeks, who talked to the mother several times after reporting her.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.