Investigators find signs of abuse in child found dead while in babysitter’s care

Rachel Smith
Rachel Smith, 25, is accused in the death of a baby at a Santa Fe motel who she was babysitting.

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are new details about the death of a baby at a Santa Fe motel while being watched by a babysitter.

Initial reports indicated the boy may have suffocated, but detectives say there’s evidence of other abuse. Police say the autopsy showed bleeds in the brain consistent with being shaken or thrown.

They also found evidence of choking but say those may have been caused by lifesaving efforts. The Office of the Medical Investigator is still investigating.

Rachel Smith, 25, is charged with the child’s death. She admitted to being on heroin while babysitting at the Thunderbird Inn.

She told police she passed out when and when she woke up, the baby wasn’t breathing.

Smith remains locked up at the Santa Fe County Jail. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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