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Investigators reviewing video in case of Florida infant’s death

Baby drowned in bathtub

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TAMPA, Fla. – Detectives are reviewing home video as part of their investigation into the death of a Florida infant who drowned in a bathtub as his mother slept, sheriff’s officials said.

Eight-month-old Mateo Montoya died Sept. 5 at a Plant City hospital, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in November by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The child's 23-year-old mother, Yesica Boxtha, had called authorities after finding the unresponsive boy, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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Boxtha told deputies who responded to the call that she had put the child in the bathtub, started running the water and then left the bathtub, the affidavit said. She told investigators that she got distracted and eventually fell asleep as the water continued running.

The child’s father, Miguel Montoya Cerro, 27, got home about 30 minutes later and woke Boxtha up. She found the child unresponsive in the bathtub, according to an affidavit.

Detectives said in the search warrant affidavit that they're considering a possible charge of aggravated manslaughter.

Boxtha is a second-grade teacher at Burney Elementary School in Plant City, the Times reported. She remains on the job, and has no previous disciplinary actions on her record.

No one responded when a Times reporter visited the home. And there was no response to a written message left at the door.

An investigation continues, said Amanda Granit, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office said it could not provide preliminary findings from the infant’s autopsy, citing the ongoing investigation.

Detectives obtained a search warrant Nov. 1 to inspect recordings stored in a digital video box beneath a television at the home. Home video cameras may have been wired into the box, the newspaper reported.

“A review of the digitally stored material/surveillance contained within the DVR box would assist with developing evidence for the investigation,” the affidavit said.