Ulster County mom put on child abuse registry after baby dies from SIDS

Mia Mackley-Scott died in her crib in February from sudden infant death syndrome at 3 months old.  

Blaise Gomez

Jun 15, 2023, 8:35 PM

Updated 365 days ago

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An Ulster County family who are grieving the loss of their baby from sudden infant death syndrome is sharing their painful story with News 12, after they say they were treated like criminals during an investigation and unfairly put on the state’s child abuse registry. 
Mia Mackley-Scott died in her crib in February from sudden infant death syndrome at 3 months old.  
“Around 11 o’clock I went into the room and found she wasn’t breathing and started screaming," said the child's mother, Kristin Scott.
Scott and her stepmother, who both live together in Lake Katrine, say Mia’s death and the aftermath of their tragic loss has been a nightmare for their family – not only dealing with their grief but during a weeks-long police and CPS investigation.   
“Even after they told me my daughter was gone, they wouldn’t let me touch her. I couldn’t hold her. They followed me in the hospital," said Scott.
Town of Ulster police say they found the family did nothing wrong criminally, and an autopsy report shows the baby died from natural causes.  
Despite those things, Ulster County Child Protective Services found them guilty of neglect for allegedly putting the baby to sleep on her stomach and put the women on the state’s child abuse registry for 26 years.  
Scott says she got kicked out of the psychology program at her college and had to surrender her certification as a caretaker because of the registry status.
“I think this is another case of that they’ve just become a number and it’s not acceptable,” said Ulster County Legislator Joe Maloney.
Maloney is trying to help the family get the decision overturned so that they can focus on healing.  
“She was my best friend. My family will forever never be the same," says Scott.
An Ulster County spokesperson said the caseworker involved is one of the county's most experienced social workers and that the women have the right to appeal, which they say they’ve done. 
DSS Commissioner Michael Iapoce issued a statement to News 12 saying, “Ulster County Department of Social Services acknowledges that this family has experienced an absolutely tragic loss that cannot be overstated. Our highly experienced caseworkers are trained to navigate these extremely difficult situations with respect and sympathy. Our obligation under the law requires our CPS workers to make accurate reports based on statements that they have taken from the families involved in these cases. Based on New York State law and the observed facts and admissions of the family, Ulster County Department of Social Services was obligated to make the determination that we made in this case.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SIDS is classified as "accidental suffocation in a sleeping environment." The CDC reports that about 3,400 babies in the United States, die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. 


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