Mom who wrote tear-jerking blogs on 'accidental death' of daughter, 4, confesses to smothering her, gets life

Stephanie Smith had written heartwrenching posts about her daughter's death but she later said she killed her during a blackout


                            Mom who wrote tear-jerking blogs on 'accidental death' of daughter, 4, confesses to smothering her, gets life
Stephanie Smith (Limestone County Sheriff's Department)

ATHENS, ALABAMA: A blogger mother had written a tear-jerking post about the death of her 4-year-old daughter, which she said was accidental. The woman has now been sentenced to prison for life for murdering her child. 

Stephanie Smith, 28, was given the sentenced on August 10 after she admitted to the July 2016 murder of her daughter Zadie Wren Cooper. The incident had taken place in Athens, Alabama. Smith had called the police and revealed that she had found Zadie unresponsive, Metro reported. She had told the officers that she found her daughter suffocated after wedging herself between her bed and the wall. The child was immediately rushed to the hospital and was later taken off life support. A subsequent autopsy had been unable to establish the cause of her death. 

Smith had taken to blogging regarding her late daughter on a website called 'Living Without Z: A Journey Through Grief'. In one of her blog posts, Smith wrote that when she saw Zadie's tombstone it 'scarred' her and she added, "a part of me is missing, forever."

In another post in 2017, Smith had addressed rumors that she had killed Zadie. Smith wrote, "What happened to Z was a freak occurrence. So freaky, people actually accused ME of killing her. Yes, you read that right. That’s how desperate we are for answers. I get no closure. Her death remains a mystery. And I couldn’t have predicted it or prevented it, just like I couldn’t save her."

At the time around Zadie's death, Smith was neither arrested nor charged while Zadie's death was still said to be suspicious, police said. According to the Athens News Courier, around nine months after Zadie's death, Smith walked into the Athens Police Department and confessed to killing her daughter. Smith said she had smothered her daughter with a pillow. This happened after she stopped taking her medication for a psychiatric condition. She said she had a medication-related 'blackout' when she killed her daughter. When she recovered, she found Zadie dead.

As reported by enewscourier, Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said, "First thing you think of is Zadie. Then you start thinking of the family and the pain that the actions have caused. You think about what Stephanie has gone through. You think about the child's father. You think about the grandparents. You think about friends."

A little before confessing, Smith had sent a text message to five of her friends saying what she did, Johnson said. Only one out of these five people came forward with the information. Johnson had said, "They may not have believed her, I don't know, it just bothers me that you have several people out there who didn't say anything."

On August 12, the police arrested Smith on a charge of capital murder, Johnson said. Alabama law needs a capital murder charge in the wrongful death of a child under the age of 14. Smith had told the authorities that she had misled them during the early investigation as she feared what the consequences would be. Smith has been held at the Limestone County Jail ever since she had confessed to the 2017 murder.

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