Report: Father caused infant's death by holding head down in linens for 30-40 seconds

LAS VEGAS - An arrest report released Monday reveals more about what caused an infant's death on Feb. 5.  The investigation into the child's death began when Sunrise Hospital nurses called Metro Police and told officers that the child had died due to respiratory issues which to them seemed suspicious.

According to the arrest report, the child’s father, Cash Ballew, was mad because 2 ½-month-old Cleo Ballew was fussy, so he put the baby in her bassinet.  The report said he laid her on her stomach before he put his hand over her head and pushed her face into the linens.

The mother of the child told officers, she tried to intervene by lunging at Ballew, but he kept her away, as he yelled, “Stop it before I kill you too.”  According to the report, Ballew held the baby’s head down for 30-40 seconds.

The mother told police, the baby then let out a long breath and seemed to be breathing fine. However, one minute later, she returned to the bassinet to check on the baby and the child wasn’t breathing.

The mother grabbed the baby and started CPR, the report said. Emergency 9-1-1 operators were called, and an ambulance was dispatched to the home.

Once they were at the hospital, the child was immediately placed in a doctor’s care and pronounced dead. The father, Cash Ballew, told the mother of the child he was sorry, and then fled the area, the report said.

When Ballew finally turned himself into officers, they asked him why he left the hospital, and he said he left because he needed to return to the motel where they were staying to charge his cell phone. Ballew refused to answer any additional questions, and he asked for an attorney.

Ballew was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one count of open murder.  Clark County Department of Family Services has opened an investigation, but older records show the agency investigated abuse claims for this child on Nov. 24, 2017.  However, the allegations were found to be unsubstantiated.


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