UPDATE: Britni Wihebrink was sentenced to 30 years after pleading guilty to neglect of a dependent causing death.
DALEVILLE, Ind. – A mother whose 2-year-old son died inside a hot car earlier this month has been formally charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and obstruction of justice.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman with the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office announced the charges Tuesday against 28-year-old Britni Wihebrink. Her initial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.
Police arrested Wihebrink last week after the heat-related death of Jaxon Stults, who was found inside a car in Daleville on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Police were called to Salem Place Apartments around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.
According to court documents, Wihebrink said she’d been drinking in the morning and lay down to take a nap with her son around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. That was the last time she saw him alive. A friend came to her apartment around 6:20 p.m.; when Wihebrink got out of bed, she couldn’t find Jaxon.
Wihebrink’s friend said she was drunk, kept repeating herself and couldn’t remember anything, court documents said. The friend’s teenage son found Jaxon in the car, lying on the back floorboard. He died on the way to the hospital, police said. The coroner determined his death was heat-related.
Wihebrink told police she has a “bad drinking problem” and started drinking in the morning to help with her hangover from the night before.
Investigators found seven empty Jim Beam 50 ml bottles in Wihebrink’s house; she also told investigators she’d had wine coolers and had thrown those bottles in a dumpster.
The obstruction charge stems from false and misleading statements Wihebrink made during the investigation, prosecutors said.
She’s being held without bond in the Delaware County Jail.