Autopsy: Infant found dead in Medina County died of asphyxiation

7-month-old Lily Adair (Wade) found dead Christmas morning

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MEDINA COUNTY, Texas – A 7-month-old baby found dead in an east Medina County home Christmas morning died of probable positional asphyxia, a Medina County Sheriff's Office official confirmed Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Office didn't release the manner of death for Lily Adair (Wade), who remained in her mother's care despite repeated warnings from the baby's part-time caregivers that the infant was possibly being neglected.

Lily's body was found in a home on County Road 3826, just inside the Medina County line.

A source familiar with the criminal investigation said it is likely Lily's head got stuck between the mattress and footboard of an adult bed.

A Sheriff's Office official confirmed that the investigation into the baby's death is ongoing.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman said late last month that employees within his agency didn't respond properly to warnings in Lily's case.

The CPS investigator assigned to Lily's case, Monica Montoya, received a written warning for failing to meet work deadlines and for not following policies and procedures, according to discipline paperwork released by DFPS.

Although the paperwork was heavily redacted, it appears Montoya failed to complete some of the paperwork related to Lily's case in a timely manner.

Records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show that Lily's mother, Elise Adair, was placed under CPS investigation in August after one of her family members filed a complaint saying Adair drank alcohol around the infant.

One of Lily's caregivers, Dana Henderson, repeatedly messaged Montoya with concerns about Adair's behavior, sent pictures showing abrasions on Lily's head from wearing a corrective helmet for too long and communicated information about Adair no longer taking Lily to therapy sessions.

Adair, 24, is serving a three-year prison sentence for felony burglary in an unrelated case.

Her family members have called Lily's death a "terrible accident."


About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.