Babysitter abandons infant, alone and crying, in burning apartment: Police

Police arrested a Canadian babysitter and charged her with abandoning a 1-year-old in a burning apartment building early Thursday morning.

The babysitter, 49-year-old Josée Milot, faces charges of arson by negligence, failure to provide the necessaries of life and child abandonment in connection with the incident, CBC News reports.

Milot has a criminal record, including a conviction related to drug dealing, and had been facing separate charges at the time of the fire, according to her defense attorney, Antonio Cabral.

She also has undergone therapy for drug addiction but did not complete all of it successfully, said Cabral, who noted that his client seemed to be in shock when they last spoke.

“She’s someone who hasn’t had an easy path,” Cabral said. “She’s someone who comes from a disadvantaged background and was involved with substance use problems in the past.”

Even so, the toddler’s mother told CBC News that she was aware of Milot’s history and that the woman had previously been a “very good babysitter.”

According to police, Milot was babysitting the child when the woman put something on a stove before leaving the apartment to go to another unit when the fire broke out.

Shortly before 1 a.m., a resident flagged down police officers who were near the apartment building.

At the scene, another resident yelled at the officers that a baby was still inside a unit on the second floor, police say.

The building was filled with so much smoke that police had to crawl to reach the girl, who was alone and crying when she was rescued.

She and four police officers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, while four other officers were treated on scene.

The baby was injured but is expected to recover.

Milot on Friday pleaded not guilty to the charges at a Montreal courthouse.

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