DCFS previously involved with mother charged with murder in child’s hot car death

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 3:11 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 2:44 PM CDT

Lake Charles, La. (KPLC) - A Lake Charles woman is charged with murder after allegedly leaving her baby in her SUV for around five hours Sunday, resulting in the child’s death.

The child has been identified as six-month-old Carissa Lewis.

“Somebody out there would have loved this child, somebody would have loved the opportunity to raise this child,” chief deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory said.

Ivy L. Lee, 22, flagged down an off-duty deputy around 3:45 p.m. Sunday near Enterprise Boulevard and Broad Street and told the deputy her six-month-old child was not breathing, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kayla Vincent said.

Deputies say the baby was left in a hot car for around five hours.
Deputies say Carissa Lewis was left in a hot car for around five hours.(Facebook/Ivy Lynn Lee)

The off-duty deputy and another deputy who was patrolling the area performed life-saving measures on the child, Vincent said. The child was brought to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Her preliminary cause of death is heat-related.

Lee originally told detectives that the child was not in her care. She later told detectives that she left the child in her small SUV for around five hours at her workplace on Gerstner Memorial Drive, Vincent said.

“She stated that she initially left the car running, but a coworker later told her the car was later running, and she turned her vehicle off,” Guillory said.

Suspected marijuana was found in the SUV, Vincent said.

This isn’t Lee’s first incident like this. CPSO confirms the Department of Children and Family Services previously had contact with the mother after she was accused of abandoning another child in a hot car back in 2019.

“Yes, DCFS was involved in the case. They were called out but during the course of the investigation, the mother voluntarily gave us that baby before the state had to get involved,” said Chief Deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory with CPSO. “That baby was given to a family member so there was never another follow-up.”

“During the course of our investigation, we learned of other instances where Lee had left the child in the vehicle,” Guillory said.

Lee was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center on charges of second-degree murder and possession of marijuana. She is held on $1,204,000 bond.

Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.