Unsafe sleeping situation led to baby's tragic death

Family of 4 living in truck bed camper on Green Cove Springs property

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A 6-month-old girl was killed in Green Cove Springs Wednesday when she fell off a bed and a nearby television fell on her, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The child, Brylee Houghton, was living with her parents and one sibling in a truck bed camper, which has been parked on a relative's property on Lost Acre Road for about a week, deputies said.

"Smiling, happy, you just look at her and you'd laugh.  You'd think she had a mouth full of teeth the way she'd smile," Houghton's great-grandmother Missy Willis said.


The family told deputies Brylee fell from the bed about four feet onto the floor of the camper and a television nearby fell over onto her.

Brylee's father grabbed her and ran to the relative's home at the front of the property. Her mother was not home when the accident happened.

Brylee was taken to Fire Station 20 for treatment and was eventually transported to UF Health Jacksonville, where she died.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office said Brylee's autopsy results could take anywhere from two to four weeks.

News4Jax has also learned the Department of Children and Families is investigating. They said there's another child in the family and they are looking into whether negligence played a role. But they said this is a warning to parents of babies, that co-sleeping is not safe and children that small need to be in a crib.

"We are urging all parents to make sure they follow the ABC's of safe sleep. Babies should sleep alone, on their backs and in cribs. We've lost 25 children this year due to child deaths and 15 of those deaths in Northeast Florida were due to unsafe sleep or co-sleeping," John Harrell, DCF spokesperson said. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs. To donate, go to gofundme.com.

"We are trying to raise money on Facebook, spreading the word out as far as we can. Her grandmother, which is my daughter, just fell at the hospital. They had to bring a minister out to talk to her. She's not taking it good. I'm not taking it good. Every time I go on Facebook I start balling like a baby," Willis said. 

About the Author: