Athens police: Woman admits smothering 4-year-old daughter - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens police: Woman admits smothering 4-year-old daughter

Stephanie Smith (Source: Athens Police Department) Stephanie Smith (Source: Athens Police Department)

Athens police arrested a local woman on a capital murder charge on Wednesday.

25-year-old Stephanie Dian Smith, also known as Stephanie Dian Cooper, is charged with capital murder.

Athens police say the arrest is in connection to the July 2016 death of her 4-year-old daughter, Zadie Cooper who died at Huntsville Hospital.

Police say Smith called 911 on July 4 and reported that her daughter, Zadie, was not breathing. Athens police, Athens Fire, and Rescue and EMS all responded. When all the first responders got there, Johnson was performing CPR per instructions from a 911 operator. 

Athens Fire took over CPR until an ambulance arrived to transport Zadie to the Athens-Limestone Hospital.

She was later transferred to Huntsville Hospital where a series of tests determined there was no brain activity. The family removed Zadie from life support and she was pronounced dead on July 4, 2016.

Investigators questioned Smith, who said that she heard something on the baby monitor and found Zadie between the bed and wall, and she was not breathing. Smith was re-interviewed in October and told detectives the same story.

On Aug. 12, Smith told Athens police she wanted to confess to killing her daughter by putting a pillow on Zadie's face and smothering her.

Investigators say Smith told them she has a mental condition and was not initially aware of what she was doing. Smith also told investigators she lied to police because she was scared of what would happen to her. 

Athens police say a private autopsy did not determine a cause of death. 

Smith is charged with capital murder because of the age of the child, per Alabama law. She is in the Limestone County Jail.

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