Sanford police reopening investigation into 2011 infant death - FOX 35 News Orlando

Sanford police reopening investigation into 2011 infant death

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SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

A Sanford mother accused of burying her deceased two-year-old daughter in Putnam County earlier this month is being investigated for a second time in the 2011 death of her infant son.

Rachel Fryer, 32, was arrested last week on a charge of aggravated child neglect after investigators said Fryer never reported her daughter, Tariji Gordon, missing. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Fryer said she found her daughter unresponsive on the morning of Thursday, February 6.  She said she attempted to revive her daughter, utilizing CPR and applying the child's breathing treatments for asthma, which included a nebulizer.  She said after about 30 minutes, she stopped attempts to revive the child and wrapped the toddler in a blanket.

Later in the afternoon, Fryer said she placed her daughter's fully dressed body in a suitcase and called on a friend to request a ride to Crescent City.  She said her friend took her to Putnam County to a specific address where she buried her daughter.  Fryer said her friend returned the next morning to pick her up and take her back to Sanford.

Investigators said the child lived at a home on Oleander Avenue in Sanford with Fryer and three other children.  

This is the second child death reported at the household.  Tavont'ae Gordon, a male infant and twin brother of Tariji, was reported dead in March of 2011.   According to the medical examiner, the boy died of accidental asphyxiation.   Fryer claimed she accidentally rolled over the infant while the two slept on a couch.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families said Fryer's four children were placed into foster care after that incident, because investigators had concerns that Fryer had substance abuse issues.  The four children were given back to Fryer this past November. 

Authorities will now review the case to see if that was the right decision, and Sanford police have announced they will reopen that case to confirm that that is how the infant died.  

"Additional information has come to light causing the Sanford Police Department to officially re-open and investigate the 2011 death of Tavont'ae Gordon," said police spokesperson Shannon Cordingly in a statement sent to FOX 35.

Fryer's three children are now back in the foster care system.   Authorities have also confirmed that Fryer is pregnant with her sixth child.


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