Kent police: Suicidal pregnant woman lit herself on fire, then gave birth to boy who died in hospital

KENT, Wash. -- A suicidal pregnant woman lit herself on fire Sunday evening in Kent, then gave birth to a baby boy who died almost immediately at the hospital, police detectives said late Tuesday night.

The King County medical examiner ruled the baby’s cause of death was prenatal asphyxia due to maternal thermal burns, and his manner of death was listed as homicide.

According to Kent police detectives, the 34-year-old woman is in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center.

Kent police responded to a call in the 10800 block of SE 238th Ave. shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday on a report that the woman was suicidal and had “caught herself on fire.” In a statement released Tuesday night, they said it quickly became apparent she was pregnant.

She was transported to Harborview, and the boy died 2 hours and 23 minutes after he was born.

Kent police said the investigation is ongoing, and that it's not clear if the mother will be charged. Q13 News is not naming the mother because she has not been charged with a crime.