San Rafael police arrested a Mendocino County woman for involuntary manslaughter and child abuse Wednesday afternoon, nearly a year after she allegedly smothered her 9-week-old daughter by rolling over onto her while sleeping, police said. Melissa Marie Lambert, 23, was breastfeeding the infant while in bed at a San Rafael homeless shelter on Dec. 3, 2009, Cpl Lisa Holton said. Lambert fell asleep and rolled onto the infant, killing the child, Holton said. A toxicology report from an autopsy showed the baby had methamphetamine in her system when she died, Holton said. Lambert left the San Rafael area in January but contacted San
Rafael police recently to talk about the incident, San Rafael police communications supervisor Charly Taylor said. San Rafael police did a follow-up interview with Lambert at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Bragg on Wednesday, Holton said. Lambert admitted that she had injected heroin less than 24 hours before the baby’s death, Holton said. She was arrested at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday for child abuse causing great bodily injury or death and involuntary manslaughter, according to the Marin County jail booking log. Lambert is being held in Marin County Jail on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today in Marin County Superior Court.
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