updated 6/20/2007 6:17:50 PM ET 2007-06-20T22:17:50

A woman has been charged in the death of her 4-month-old son after telling authorities she had taped a pacifier to his face to keep the device in his mouth.

Bonnie M. Desmond, 19, of Lake Stevens, was arrested and booked into the Snohomish County jail Monday night. She was charged Tuesday in county District Court with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Noah James Petersen. Bail was set at $500,000.

The medical examiner completed an autopsy Tuesday but results were pending further investigation.

If convicted, Desmond faces between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 years in prison, county Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roe said.

The woman called 911 about 11:30 a.m. Monday and said her baby was unconscious, but paramedics who rushed to the home she shares with her fiance found the little boy had been dead for hours, Fire District 8 Deputy Chief David Lingenfelter said.

She told police and medics that a half-hour earlier she found the infant dead and ripped the pacifier from his face, then called her fiance before notifying authorities, according to documents filed by prosecutors.

Prosecutors wrote that after the mother overheard detectives talking about sudden infant death syndrome, she indicated the pacifier had been taped to the child's mouth to keep the device from falling out.

"The only thing I can think of is I taped the pacifier to keep it from falling out. I didn't know it would hurt him, or I wouldn't have done that," Desmond allegedly told police.

She was arrested following an interview with detectives, police Cmdr. Dan Lorentzen said.

No other children live in the home, the fiance was not under investigation in the baby's death and both parents have been cooperating with the investigation, Lorentzen said.

According to The Herald of Everett, the fiance said the couple usually used a swaddling blanket to calm the child, but on Sunday night one couldn't be found so Desmond used pajamas to tie the infant's arms close to his body.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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