WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The West Plains Police Department has released information on a medical emergency on Burke Avenue around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, August 9.
Officers responded to the address after reports that a 6-month-old baby girl was not breathing. 27-year-old Levi Michael Coffel met officers at the door and told officers he had performed live-saving measures on the infant but was unsuccessful.
Officers observed that Coffel smelled of alcohol and requested a breath sample. He consented and the test found that his blood-alcohol level (BAC) was 0.191.
He told officers he had consumed intoxicating substances while he was the only person caring for four small children when officers arrived at the home, and he told a detective that he had placed the 6-month-old baby in a bath seat in the tub while the water was running and left the room to grab the diaper bag.
He initially told the detective he thought the drain was open, but later admitted it was plugged.
He said he thought the baby had been left unattended for “a few minutes” when he returned to find her submerged underwater.
He said he immediately took the baby downstairs and multiple people tried to resuscitate her, but they were unsuccessful.
Coffel was charged with Abuse/Neglect of a Child- Resulting in Death and is being held on a $100,000 bond in Howell County.