Deputies: Tampa mom let infant drown while she met with cable salesman

April 30, 2013 

TAMPA -- A Tampa woman left her 7-month infant in a bathtub to drown while she answered the door and met with a cable salesman, deputies say.

Sierra McMillan, 22, was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, McMillan placed Jewond Elder Jr. in a tub and started the water for a bath around 4:15 p.m. Sunday. She then left the infant with the water running to answer the door of her apartment on the 14000 block of Seaford Cir. for a solicitor.

The solicitor, a cable salesman, would later tell authorities as he was making his pitch, he could hear the water running and a child crying, but that after a minutes, the crying stopped.

He said that after 15 to 20 minutes, McMillan went into the bathroom and turned the water off and that when she returned, her arms and the front of her shirt were wet.

The salesman said he remained in the apartment a few more minutes until McMillan asked him to return another time, according to the arrest report. After leaving the apartment, the solicitor saw deputies and emergency personnel arriving at the scene. He saw Emergency Medical Services personnel leave with a baby and decided to tell deputies what he saw and heard while inside the apartment.

McMillan gave deputies a completely different account of the drowning. She said that as she was giving the infant a bath, she knelt down to get the baby soap from under the sink and passed out. She said she woke up and found the baby face down in the tub with the water level halfway to the top.

Investigators say an autopsy of the infant was performed and the Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death as an accident and the cause of death as drowning of an unattended child.

McMillan was booked in the Hillsborough County Jail and is being held without bond.

The salesman is not an employee of Bright House Networks, the sheriff's office said. Bright House Networks is the parent company of Bay News 9.

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