Actor Billy Bob Thornton’s ex-wife is drawing comparisons between the death of the 1-year-old her daughter was babysitting and the tragic death of Irishman Liam Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson.
TMZ is reporting that they spoke with the Melissa Parish (formerly Melissa Gatlin), Thornton’s first wife and the mother of Thornton’s eldest child Amanda Brumfield. Brumfeld has been arrested and charged with child neglect in the death of the infant.
Thornton’s ex says her daughter did not do anything wrong while caring for the child in October of 2008, and claimed she had “no reason” to call 911 when the baby fell from her playpen because there were “no signs of distress.”
Parish says the circumstances surrounding the child’s death are eerily similar to the events that led to the death of Richardson, who passed away several days after a seemingly harmless spill on the ski slopes of Montreal.
Parish told TMZ: "When you have a situation that does not indicate distress ... there are no signs of distress, then there is no reason to immediately call police."
After the 1-year-old fell, Brumfeld fell asleep with the baby.
Reportedly, when she awoke about two-and-a-half hours later, the child's body was limp, and Brumfeld called for emergency medical assistance.
When the medical team arrived at the Florida home where the accident took place, they attempted to administer CPR on the baby, but were unable to revive her.
Officials determined the baby died from a fractured skull and a subdural hematoma caused by the fall. The Medical Examiner's Office ruled the manner of death a homicide, and reportedly the explanation given by Brumfield was inconsistent with the injuries found.