Woman accused of murder after leaving infant in Phoenix apartment for 37 hours

Jan 8, 2024, 8:00 PM

Sara Harris mugshot after being arrested on one count second-degree murder and one count of child a...

Sara Harris was arrested on one count of second-degree murder and child abuse after she left two kids at home for nearly two days. Her 6-week-old was found dead. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — A woman was recently arrested for the death of her infant and on child abuse charges after leaving her two kids at her Phoenix apartment for 37 hours last summer while she allegedly partied and did drugs.

Sara Harris, 24, was booked into jail Friday on one count of second-degree murder and one count of child abuse, just over five months after her 6-week-old child was found dead.

Her bond has been set at $100,000.

What evidence do detectives have to arrest Harris for her baby’s death?

Detectives responded to a call about a 1-month-old girl not breathing on July 30, 2023, at a Phoenix apartment complex for victims of domestic violence, according to court documents.

During the initial investigation, Harris told authorities that her child was being fussy the night before, so she gave her ibuprofen with a syringe and held her until she fell asleep, according to the probable cause statement for her arrest.

Harris said she woke up the next day and left the apartment for a short time before returning to find her child unresponsive.

However, after reviewing surveillance footage near the complex and other locations Harris claimed to have went, investigators discovered that she hadn’t been at the apartment for about 37 hours before she found her infant dead, according to the probable cause statement. She also left her 17-month-old daughter inside.

The pathologist eventually determined the infant’s manner of death as undetermined after results revealed chlorpheniramine intoxication, airway mucus plug and an unsafe sleeping environment, according to court documents. Chlorpheniramine is often found in Children’s Tylenol.

What did Harris say after her arrest?

When Harris was questioned on Jan. 5 in a post-Miranda interview, she admitted to leaving her infant and toddler on July 28 and not returning until July 30, claiming she had taken street drugs, drank alcohol and went to a nightclub in Tempe during that time frame, according to the probable cause statement.

Harris also said she gave the infant melatonin and NyQuil through a bottle before she left. A toxicology screening detected the NyQuil, according to court documents.

She is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

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Woman accused of murder after leaving infant in Phoenix apartment for 37 hours