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Blessing Barlee

Blessing Barlee, of St. John, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child resulting in the death after her 4-month-old son died when she allegedly left him and two other children home alone for several hours.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A St. John woman left three young children alone for several hours and came home to find her 4-month-old son dead, prosecutors say.

Blessing Barlee, 21, was charged Friday with three felonies: endangering the welfare of a child resulting in the death of the child and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child creating a substantial risk.

St. John Police Capt. Bob Connell on Monday told the Post-Dispatch that the cause of death for 4-month-old Micah Lee Stringfellow hasn't been determined. Investigators plan to meet with the medical examiner's office in the coming days. Connell said there was no obvious sign of trauma to the infant.

Barlee left three children alone for five hours from last Wednesday night into Thursday morning, resulting in the death of Micah, charges say.

A tow truck driver is the one who called 911, Connell said. The tow truck driver had just dropped Barlee off at her home in the 3600 block of McKibbon Road early Thursday when Barlee ran back outside with the child in her arms, Connell said.

The baby was unresponsive and not breathing when police got to the home. A St. John police officer performed CPR on Micah, who was taken by ambulance to DePaul Hospital, but the child was pronounced dead.

Barlee's 1-year-old child also was left in the home alone. The oldest child of the three left alone is a 4-year-old who is not Barlee's biological child.

Connell said he doesn't know where Barlee was for the five hours. "She's changed her story several times," he said.

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