Boy, 3, left unsupervised for 14 hours before drowning, judge says

A Bartow County woman allegedly left her 3-year-old son alone for more than 14 hours before he was found unresponsive in a swimming pool, a judge said Wednesday. 

Bobbie Jessica Prather, 32, was arrested Monday after her son was found unresponsive in an above-ground pool behind the family’s home, according to the Bartow Sheriff’s Office. Prather was charged with felony murder and four counts of first-degree cruelty to children, one charge for each child she left alone, investigators said. 

Prather was denied bond at her first court appearance Wednesday morning. 

Bobbie Prather, the Bartow County mother charged with murder in the drowning death of her 3-year-old son, made her first court appearance Wednesday. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Three other young children were removed from the home and placed in protective custody, where they remained Wednesday, Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said. 

ALSO: Mom charged with murder after 3-year-old drowns

Police and paramedics were called to the Canter Lane home, near Cartersville, shortly after 1:30 p.m. Monday, according to Bartow EMS director Brad Cothran. A deputy pulled the boy, identified as Jagger Settles, from the pool, but the child was unconscious and not breathing.

Paramedics determined the child had been underwater too long to be resuscitated, Cothran said. Just after 6 p.m., Prather was arrested. 

“Most of us are parents and (when) we respond to something like this, of course it affects you, because everyone loves children,” Rogers said. “Children rely on us for safety, security and comfort.”

The state Division of Family and Children Services is assisting with the investigation. The GBI is conducting an autopsy on the child. 

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