Open bottle of alcohol found in vehicle with mother and dead infant, court documents say

Posted at 11:06 AM, Mar 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-09 12:06:18-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Details are emerging about what transpired the day an Indianapolis woman and her 3-month-old daughter were reported missing.

In court documents filed Thursday, detectives allege Rachel McAfee, 36, appeared intoxicated when she was found inside a vehicle in the 2600 block of Stanford Court with her deceased daughter, Emma. McAfee was taken to Eskenazi Hospital with frostbite.

The mother and daughter were the subject of a city-wide search earlier Tuesday after family members reported them missing.

READ | Indy mother arrested for neglect in death of 3-month-old | Missing infant found dead, mother taken to the hospital with frostbite

The probable cause affidavit released by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office on Thursday lists the details of that day. McAfee's husband told police she left home around 7 a.m. Monday to drop Emma off at the baby sitter before going to an 11 a.m. meeting.

After McAfee never showed up with the infant or to her meeting, her husband said he tried to contact her but could not so he called police, according to court documents.

More than 24 hours later, a homeowner in the area of Stanford Court called to report a woman and a baby in a gray Subaru that was not running. The woman told police that she had seen the same vehicle before she left for work that morning, but when she drove up to make sure they were okay the woman said they were fine. At that time, the woman said the vehicle was still running, according to court documents.

When police arrived on the scene Tuesday afternoon they found baby Emma lying on the front floorboard of the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Court documents say an autopsy of Emma found signs that are "consistent with cold related deaths," but her cause of death is still pending.

Police say it was 9 degrees when they found Rachel and Emma and the vehicle they were in had run out of gas and had a dead battery. McAfee had removed her jacket, shoes and was only wearing a "thin layer of clothing," according to court documents.

Police also found a bottle of rum inside the vehicle during a search and Rachel appeared to be intoxicated. Detectives said they observed she had "short term memory loss about the death of her child and no concept of time," according to court documents.

McAfee's husband reportedly told detectives that his wife had a history of alcohol abuse and depression and that he had found bottles of vodka hidden around the home on several occasions, according to court documents. On the day the two went missing, her husband told detectives that she was supposed to drop Emma off at his parent's house so she could go to "an intervention concerning her excessive drinking."

The location where police found the vehicle was approximately one-tenth of a mile from the husband's parents house.

On Wednesday, police said McAfee had been battling postpartum depression and might have been suicidal.

McAfee has been charged with neglect of a dependent causing death.

Emma's death remains under investigation by IMPD.