Six-month-old Noah Johnson, who died last week from suspected child abuse, was born with marijuana in his system and weighed only 12 pounds when his decomposing body was brought to a Grand Rapids hospital.
Those are some of the revelations contained in documents from child protective proceedings involving the young mother charged with his death.
Lovily Johnson, 22, was arraigned Monday on charges of felony murder and first-degree child abuse. Investigators say Noah was left buckled in a car seat for two days. During that time, he was “knowingly and intentionally deprived’’ the necessities of life, court records show.
The mother did not call 911 and instead asked her father to driver her and Noah to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital the afternoon of July 19, court records show.
“Noah’s body was in advanced stages of decomposition,’’ court records show. “His stomach was obviously bloated, his eyes were glossy, and he was emitting a strong, foul odor. Noah had blood on his genitals and buttocks.’’
When Wyoming police returned to Johnson’s apartment on McKee Avenue SW that evening, the temperature was 90.5 degrees in the room where Noah had been left.
Lovily Johnson told investigators she left her son alone for about 12 hours on July 17. She fed him a bottle in the morning, but did not change his diaper, court records show. She spent time with friends and smoked marijuana, investigators wrote in court documents.
She was also gone for about eight hours on July 18 and did not check on Noah when she returned home that afternoon. She left the house again and did not return until the morning hours of July 19, according to court records.
“Ms. Johnson admitted smoking marijuana during that time,’’ an investigator wrote. “She did not check on Noah when she returned home.’’
She left the morning of July 19 to run errands, stopping at Family Fare, a gas station and a bank. “She returned home that afternoon, checked on Noah and found him unresponsive. Ms. Johnson contacted her father for a ride to the hospital. She did not call 911.’’
The disturbing details are contained in a petition by the state to take custody of Johnson’s two-year-old daughter. A Kent County referee on Friday granted that request.
The girl, who was born in March, 2015 and Noah, who was born on Jan. 6, tested positive for marijuana via a meconium screen, court records show. That led to Child Protective Services complaints alleging abuse on Johnson’s part.
Another Child Protective Services complaint was filed against Lovily Johnson earlier this month, alleging improper supervision of Noah. That came after Wyoming police responded to Family Video at 3556 Byron Center Avenue SW on a report of a child left alone in a vehicle for 20 minutes.
“Officers located Noah in a vehicle belonging to Ms. Johnson’s boyfriend,’’ court records show. “The vehicle was unlocked, not running and the windows were slightly rolled down.’’ The responding officer stated that Johnson “did not appear to care the child was in the vehicle and unsupervised and she kept defending why she needed multiple DVDs.’’
Police located in the vehicle a large glass marijuana smoking pipe, a skull-shaped glass marijuana water smoking pipe, a plastic bag with suspected marijuana, a digital scale and a metal marijuana grinder.
The day after her son’s death, Lovily Johnson admitted to suffering depression. “She reported previous suicide attempts and was observed with linear scars on her left forearm,’’ court records show. “Ms. Johnson reported that hospital staff requested she go to Pine Rest on three occasions and she refused to go each time.’’
Johnson has a probable cause hearing scheduled for Aug. 2 in Wyoming District Court. If convicted of felony murder, she faces mandatory life in prison. First-degree child abuse is punishable by any term up to life.
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