Mother ‘burns disabled baby daughter alive after giving her overdose and putting her in bag’
A mother is suspected of burning alive her severely disabled two month old daughter.
Suceli Ardon is alleged to have put her baby in a rubbish bag and doused it with petrol before setting it on fire.
Confession: Suceli Ardon told police her baby suddenly stopped breathing
The 26 year old had claimed her daughter was already dead from an accidental overdose of painkillers.
But a preliminary autopsy has revealed the baby was still alive when she was set on fire after smoke was found in her lungs.
Prosecutors in Reno, Nevada, said they expect to file murder charges once they receive the full autopsy report.
Ardon, a mother of three, was arrested after a woman walking her dog came across the charred remains of her daughter Brandy in March.
The two month old suffered from the rare Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome and was terminally ill.
The newborn had spent most of her early life in hospital and had been released from a hospice into the care of her 26 year old mother and her boyfriend Luis Martinez in March.
Ardon was supposed to administer morphine to her daughter to relieve her pain.
She claimed she gave her daughter too much and panicked after realising she was dead. Rather than tell authorities she decided to burn the body.
Police were able to identify Brandy by the surgical device placed in her abdomen that was used as a feeding tube.
When they interviewed Ardon, she confessed to setting her daughter on fire after claiming she was already dead after an overdose of morphine.
The baby had recently been released from a hospice and was terminally ill and not expected to survive for more than a few months due to her genetic disorder.
Charges: Prosecutors said they are waiting for more tests to see if they will charge Ardon with murder
Ardon told police she panicked after the fatal overdose.
Sparks Detective Sergeant John Franz: ‘She told us she basically panicked.
‘She took some steps because, as she said, she thought she would be in trouble.’
Her boyfriend told police Ardon explained the child’s disappearance from the family home by saying hospice workers had taken the child, then later claiming she had sent the baby to live with relatives.
One the drive to a deserted field she stopped to buy a petrol canister and rubbish sacks.
The body of her daughter was found two weeks after she was set ablaze.
Ardon, who is from Guetemala in Central America, was charged with arson while tests were carried out on her daughter’s body.
Deputy District Attorney Luke Prengaman said blood tests had indicated the presence of smoke in the baby’s lungs.
At a bail hearing prosecutors argued against a bail reduction, saying Ardon poses a flight risk back to her native Guatemala.
She has been in the country legally for 10 years. Ardon’s boyfriend, Luis Martinez, testified that he will help support her if she is released, and Ardon’s defence attorney said she does not plan to return to Guatemala.
Judge Steven Kosach ordered Ardon released on her own recognizance, but said she must surrender her passport and driver’s license, must check in with her pastor every day and must wear an ankle bracelet to track her movements.