WJTV News Channel 12 - Mother charged in Jacksonville child's death due in court

Jacksonville mom charged in baby's death appears in court

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Barbara Unser, 22 Barbara Unser, 22

Friends and family are remembering the life of a 10-month old boy who drowned in a bathtub.

Monday afternoon was the memorial service for Alexander Froland, who died Wednesday morning at his home in Jacksonville.

Documents show his mother, Barbara Unser, 23, left him unsupervised in a bathtub.

She made her first court appearance Monday morning in Jacksonville.

She is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and two misdemeanors: child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

Unser has two other children who were with her when Alexander died. She called 911 after seeing her baby with purple lips and bubbles coming out of his nose.

The baby's father, Christopher Froland, released a statement asking for prayers and good wishes.

The Onslow County Department of Social Services say they are not allowed to comment on how Unser's other two children are doing. 

Unser's neighbors hope what happened to Alexander Froland can teach other parents to keep a constant eye on their kids.

"Whenever they're in a situation that poses any danger, even one second or one minute can be their life," said James Thomas, who lives on Westminster Drive in Jacksonville, where Unser lives.

-- Original story --

A Jacksonville mother is heading to court Monday, charged with the death of her 10-month-old child.

Around 9:30 on Wednesday, April 24, Jacksonville Police officers responded to a residence on the 100 block of Westminster Drive to a report of a juvenile not breathing and unresponsive.  Responding JFD Firefighters initiated life saving measures and Onslow County Emergency Services transported the subject to Onslow Memorial Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Neighbors say they watched as emergency crews tried to help the baby.

"After a while one of the EMTs came out, I believe it was an EMT, came out with a baby draped across his arms and broke my heart 'cause the baby looked lifeless," said neighbor Patricia Sawyer.

"I saw the mother sitting in the doorway looking pretty bereaved. I knew there was something wrong," said Jacksonville resident James Thomas.

The Jacksonville Police Department conducted an investigation into the incident.  After completing the extensive investigation, warrants were issued for the child's mother. 23-year-old Barbara Unser is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Misdemeanor Child Abuse, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile.

Neighbors say Unser was bathing the kids in the bathtub when she got up and left the bathroom, but when she returned the 10-month-old wasn't breathing. Jacksonville Police have yet to confirm what neighbors are only speculating caused the baby's death.

Captain Jason Bettis of the Investigative Division says, "Even though an arrest has been made in this incident, it is still an active and ongoing investigation."

Unser is out on a $60,000 secured bond.
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