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Mother arrested after baby drowns in bathtub

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A mother is charged with aggravated manslaughter after her seven-month-old baby drowned in a bathtub where authorities say she left him unattended.

After an autopsy, the death is listed as an accident.

The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says 22-year-old Seirra McMillan left her son Jerwond Elder, Jr. in the bathtub with the water running when she went to answer the door to a solicitor selling cable service.

The salesman could hear the baby crying while they talked, said sheriff's office spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez.

"He could hear the water running and then after about 15 minutes the crying stopped," she said.

Nunez said at one point the mother left and turned off the water, returning with her shirt and arms wet.

"She came back very calmly to provide information to the solicitor and then said she would prefer he come back at a later time," Nunez said.

After he left McMillan's apartment, the solicitor witnessed ambulances and police arriving and decided to stay and tell authorities what he had seen, the sheriff's office said.

At the apartment on Seaford Circle in Hillsborough County on Tuesday, the baby's father was still dealing with the news.

"I wish my son was here and I want to free my baby mama because Sierra, because she did not do anything and she's not that type of person and I know this for a fact," Jerwond Elder said.

Nunez said McMillan initially told deputies that she had already given the baby a bath and then passed out in the bathroom, but they do not believe that to be true.

Two other children in the home were placed with a relative.

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