Comforter, hypothermia contributed to child’s death


The death of a six month old child in Williamston Tuesday was likely caused by a large comforter and hypothermia, according to Deputy Coroner Don McCown. Six-month-old Ayala Aliyah Lopez was sleeping in a playpen with a large, thick comforter in a house with no heat, McCown said.

The compforter likely contributed to the baby’s inability to breathe properly causing positional asphyxia, according to McCown. Hypothermia also contributed, he said. The area has experienced cool temperatures in the 40s and 50s this week.

The baby’s mother found her unresponsive around noon on Tuesday, called 911 and attempted to give her CPR until paramedics arrived. Williamston EMS and Police were on scene within minutes. The baby was pronounced dead at Greenville Memorial Hospital at 12:38 p.m.

The Anderson County Coroner’s Office investigated the death and completed an autopsy Wednesday morning.

As part of the investigation, the baby’s father tested positive for cocaine, officials said. It is routine for officials to test the drug levels of a child’s caregivers and other people in the home when there is a death involving a child. No illegal drugs were found in the home, officials said.

Two other children, a two year old sibling and a 14 year old cousin living in the home were taken into protective custody.

The investigation remains open but no charges have been filed, officials said.

The death is the second of its kind within a week in the area and the fourth in Anderson County. A two-month-old baby died last week in Pelzer after he apparently slipped down a pillow and suffocated while sleeping in the same bed with his parents.