Bond increased for mother accused of putting baby in freezer

Brittany C. Smith was arrested after putting an 8-month-old baby inside an unused deep freezer that had about an inch of water in it.

An 8-month-old baby was pulled from an inch of water inside an unused freezer last week after a witness saw the mother with the child before finding the woman under a house — without the child, according to a warrant filed in Washington County General Sessions Court.

Brittany C. Smith, 19, of 311 Grande View Ext., Johnson City, was seen carrying a baby in the backyard of a residence on Poplar Hill Drive in Johnson City. The two locations are approximately six miles apart.

According to court records, a witness told Washington County sheriff’s deputies they saw a woman they didn’t know standing beside an old freezer that was not being used. The residents went outside to see what the woman was doing, and they found her hiding in the crawl space under their house. When they got the woman out, she didn’t have the baby with her any longer.

The witnesses started looking for the baby and found him in the freezer, according to the warrant. Witnesses told officers they felt the woman acted as if she was under the influence of something.

“For having placed the child inside the deep freezer, which is an act that placed the child in immediate danger of suffocation and/or drowning,” the officer stated in the warrant he believed there was sufficient probable cause to arrest Smith.       

She was taken to the Washington County Detention Center and held on a $20,000 bond. Her preliminary hearing in the case is Feb. 14.