ALFRED, Maine - A Massachusetts woman accused of shaking her 9-month-old daughter to death after losing and then regaining custody of the baby will soon return to her home state to face charges.
Jennifer Ward of Peabody, Mass., waived extradition yesterday in a hearing via video conference from the York County Jail, where she's being held. She is expected to be returned to Massachusetts no later than next Tuesday.
Ward, 37, was arrested Friday at her parents' home in Kennebunk after a grand jury returned a murder indictment. Jocelyn Ward Anderson died from shaken-baby syndrome on Nov. 21 at Children's Hospital in Boston, according to the Essex County district attorney's office.
Ward was allowed to take the baby home in March shortly after birth even though both tested positive for drugs, Massachusetts Department of Social Services spokesman Richard Nangle said.
Later in March, the baby was taken from Ward because of a report of neglect, according to the agency. Ward completed a drug treatment and parenting education program, and in July was granted custody in Lynn Juvenile Court. The court dismissed the care and protection order in September, the DSS said.
Thomas Barrett, Ward's lawyer, did not return a call left at his office in Salem, Mass., yesterday.
The Department of Social Services has come under fire in recent years for a string of child abuse cases in which children died while under the care or supervision of the agency.
After the baby's death, Nangle wrote in a statement e-mailed to media outlets that the case was typical in many ways in that the baby was taken away, the mother did what was asked of her, and the baby was then returned to the mother.
In this case, everyone thought it was a success story, Nangle wrote.