LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Toney woman accused of leaving her baby in a car overnight, leading to his death, was indicted on new charges Thursday, according to court records.
Elizabeth Case, now 40, was originally charged with capital murder of a child, but that case has been dismissed under the new Limestone County grand jury indictment, according to court records.
Case is now charged with felony murder, reckless manslaughter and aggravated child abuse.
13-month-old Casen Case died in October 2019 after authorities said he had been left alone in a vehicle overnight, buckled into a front-facing car seat that wasn’t strapped in.
Investigators said Casen was in the vehicle while his mother, Elizabeth, traveled between Limestone and Madison Counties dumpster diving, saying she got home around 5:40 a.m., leaving him in the car while she went inside the house and went to bed.
Elizabeth didn’t wake up until around 1:30 p.m., authorities said, when Casen’s grandmother came to see him. Law enforcement said the grandmother woke the mother up by banging on the door when she couldn’t find her grandchild.
After a search, the two found the toddler inside the vehicle.
Investigators said that rather than seeking immediate medical help, Elizabeth took her child inside and placed him in the shower. The grandmother called 911, got into her vehicle with the baby and Elizabeth, and started driving toward the hospital.
Along the way, they met Athens Police at the intersection of Highway 251 and Highway 31.
At the time of the incident, authorities said Elizabeth was a known drug user and was out of jail on bond for a first-degree robbery.
Elizabeth was indicted for capital murder on Jan. 3, 2020, and pleaded not guilty on Feb. 25, 2020.
In 2021, Casen Case’s aunt filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Elizabeth Case and the Department of Human Resources over the toddler’s death.
The lawsuit alleges DHR failed to take appropriate action and left Casen with his mother, despite her being in and out of jail while she was pregnant. At the time of her arrest for Casen’s death, Elizabeth was out of jail on bond for a robbery charge.
Multiple reports had been made to DHR that Elizabeth was abusing and neglecting Casen, according to Birmingham attorney Tommy James, and DHR knew about Elizabeth’s drug use and criminal history, which includes DUI, theft, domestic violence and drug possession.
A jury trial for Case’s capital murder case was scheduled to begin in November, but according to prosecuting District Attorney Brian C.T. Jones, that won’t happen.
No hearings had been set for Elizabeth’s new charges at the time this article was published. She remains in the Limestone County Jail without bond.