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Home Criminal News Mother who searched through trash sentenced to prison for her toddler son’s death from being left in a hot car

Mother who searched through trash sentenced to prison for her toddler son’s death from being left in a hot car


“If you have groceries in your car, if there’s milk that can spoil, it can be replaced. That baby cannot.”

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Elizabeth Anne Case

Elizabeth Anne Case is shown in a 2019 booking photo released by the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.

An Alabama A woman has been given a lengthy prison sentence for the hot car death of her 13-month-old son — a tragic situation that was forgotten during the child's life and only remembered after it was too late.

Elizabeth Anne Case, 40, admitted guilt to one charge of manslaughter in March. She has now been given a 20-year prison term, with credit for the four years and 150 days she spent in pretrial detention.

The defendant has been in custody since October 2019. Her legal process involved a series of initial and lesser accusations, which were then substituted with more serious charges, and eventually led to a plea deal regarding the second-most mentally culpable form of homicide in the Yellowhammer State.

Casen Case, the victim, passed away on Oct. 5, 2019. Following a night of searching through dumpsters, his mother left him alone in a car. During her time at dumpsters in two counties, the boy was in her car — secured in a front-facing car seat that was not fastened by a seat belt.

Departing from their home at approximately 9 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2019, Elizabeth Case chose to visit dumpsters in both Limestone and nearby Madison counties. She returned after a late night of looking for reusable items.

Afterwards, she arrived home around 5:40 a.m. and went to bed, leaving the boy alone for the final time, according to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.

The convicted perpetrator only woke up the next afternoon, at around 1:30 p.m., due to persistent knocking on her front door.

Casen’s grandmother, Theresa Moss, was in a panic because she couldn’t locate the 1-year-old. She had come over that day to visit the boy she loved dearly at his mother’s residence in Toney, a small unincorporated community roughly 30 miles northwest of Huntsville.

After waking up, the two searched and found Casen inside the vehicle.

Upon making the discovery, the boy’s mother allegedly did not immediately seek help from law enforcement or emergency medical services, but instead took him inside her house and into the shower.

Once again, Moss took the initiative, allegedly placing the boy in her car, calling 911, and rushing to meet Athens Police Department officers at the junction of two highways.

The temperature in the area was around 97 degrees on the day Casen passed away, according to authorities.

A history of charges for Elizabeth Case in Limestone County, Alabama

The narrative of Elizabeth Case, depicted through a series of allegations in Limestone County, Alabama (Limestone County Sheriff’s Office).

Case was initially arrested for her son’s reckless murder. Subsequently, she faced a more serious felony murder indictment. She was then indicted for a capital murder charge on Jan. 3, 2022. She pleaded not guilty to that most serious of charges on Feb. 25, 2020. A jury trial in the case was originally set for November 2023, but it was canceled after a new indictment was filed in late summer 2023.

In March 2021, Casen’s aunt, Laura Barnett, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Elizabeth Case, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, and the director and program director of the Limestone County Department of Human Resources, as detailed in a report by Huntsville-based CBS affiliate WHNT.

Birmingham-based lawyer Tommy James stated that the state received many reports of the boy being abused and did nothing.

“These workers are paid with our tax dollars to safeguard children like Casen, but they took no action,” the lawyer mentioned at that time. “His death is very sad and should never have occurred. Instead of battling in court, we urge DHR to join us and Casen's loved ones to seek the truth and prevent such a tragedy from happening to another child.”

Barnett criticized the boy’s mother in remarks to Knoxville, Tennessee-based CBS affiliate WVLT.

“That child is the very first thing that comes out of your car when you get out,” she told the TV station. “If you have groceries in your car, if there’s milk that can spoil, it can be replaced. That baby cannot.”

The lawsuit was later dismissed.

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