Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/28/mom_microwaves_baby/

Mom cooks baby in microwave oven - police

An urban legend no more

By Thomas C Greene

Posted in Media, 28th November 2006 19:53 GMT

Police have charged an Ohio woman in the death, by microwave oven, of her one-month-old daughter, the Associated Press reports.

Mom China Arnold, 26, stands accused of aggravated murder after bringing her dead infant daughter, Paris, to a hospital, with a "high body temperature". The woman was arrested, and later released.

"We have reason to believe, and scientific evidence to support, that a microwave oven might have been involved in the death of this child," Montgomery County Coroner's Office Director Ken Betz is quoted as saying.

It has taken authorities over a year to develop their case. "There is not a lot of scientific research and data on the effect of microwaves on human beings," Betz explained. (An observation for which we can all be thankful. The Nazis missed out on that opportunity by mere months.)

The microwave oven is an established fixture of geek / hobbyist intrigue, often featured on shows like Brainiac and on Mythbusters, which once threatened to investigate its effects on a small dog, but backed away in the end.

There is a well-known urban legend about a baby sitter who gets wasted on recreational drugs while on duty and cooks a "roast" in the microwave. The parents return to discover that she had cooked the baby by mistake.

If Arnold is found guilty, it will mark only the second known instance of infanticide via microwave. The first is the case of Virginia mom Elizabeth Renee Otte, who in 2000 pleaded no contest to charges of involuntary manslaughter and received a sentence of five years' incarceration. ®