Salem woman charged with murdering infant daughter, bail set at $1 million

MARION COUNTY — Bail is set at $1 million for a 23-year-old Salem woman being held in the Marion County jail on charges she murdered her infant daughter.

Christina Thomason is charged with two counts First Degree murder in connection with the death of her 3-month-old daughter Aribella Thomason.

State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach told X95 Wednesday that Count 1 is based upon Thomason’s intent to kill, or cause great bodily harm to the baby, and Count 2 is based upon her knowing her actions created a strong probability of death.

Wilzbach says allegations indicate Thomason smothered her daughter with blankets because she wouldn’t stop crying.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office and Salem police were called to the Thomason home Tuesday morning, on a report of an unresponsive infant.

Salem police and EMS immediately responded and began resuscitation efforts. Aribella was taken by EMS to Salem Township Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased at 9:21 am. Tuesday.

Wilzbach says after evidence in the case didn’t match Thomason’s initial story, the Child Death Review Task Force brought her in a second time for questioning and she admitted to the circumstances that led up to the suffocation death of her daughter.

Wilzbach says Thomason admitted she could not get the baby to stop crying, so she put the baby in the bassinet, covered her up with several blankets, including covering up her face, mouth and nose, and then went away for an hour and called 911 when she returned and the baby wasn’t breathing.

Wilzbach says during the hour she waited after allegedly placing the blankets over the baby’s face, Thomason spent 10 to 15 minutes in the bathroom until the Aribella stopped crying, then took about a 35 minute shower and got her 2-year-old daughter out of bed.

Thomason then reportedly checked on the baby and made the 911 call that the baby was not breathing. Wilzbach says Thomason, who was the only adult present at the time of the incident, acted calmly during the call.
During the questioning, Thomason reportedly brought up seeing CSI type shows where it took about an hour for a baby to suffocate.

The baby’s body was taken to Bloomington on Tuesday afternoon for a specialized autopsy.

Thomason has two other children, the 2-year-old daughter was taken into protective custody and a shelter hearing is scheduled for Thursday. A male child was already living with other relatives.