PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The investigation continues into the suspicious death of a Punta Gorda infant. Tuesday, investigators revealed they found the baby's body inside a freezer.
As of Tuesday night, the woman believed to be the mother is not under arrest but authorities have removed her other three children from the home.
The infant was found dead inside a freezer at a home in the 300 block of Boca Grande Boulevard. Investigators say they're waiting for autopsy results before filing any charges. Meanwhile neighbors are in disbelief something like this would happen here.
Punta Gorda police said they were first called to a home on Boca Grande Blvd. Sunday night. That's when Jessica Smallwood was taken to Peace River Hospital for bleeding. Something that happened at the hospital led police back to the home on Monday when they made a gruesome discovery.
"The infant was found in the freezer," said Christy Arnold, public information officer, Punta Gorda Police Department.
24 hours later, a playground sits empty in the backyard, roped off by crime scene tape. WINK News has learned Smallwood's future as a teacher aide at Peace River Elementary will be decided when the investigation is finished.
"Once thats complete we will look into what happened and how that impacts her employment in the Charlotte County School District," said Mike Riley, Charlotte County School District.
"I knew her from school. Real nice lady. I was very surprised what happened," said Delphine Nodine, neighbor.
Nodine says the woman she knew from school didn't seem like the type to be in the middle of a suspicious death investigation.
"I have kids and she taught my kids and she was a teachers aide towards my kids so I was very surprised," said Nodine.
Smallwood does have three other children. The Department of Children and Families told WINK News, "at this time, these other children are in foster care. We have received prior reports related to this family, although neither of those reports involved an allegation of physical violence."