DECATUR, Ill. — An Illinois woman arrested Wednesday and accused of suffocating her 19-month-old son earlier this month Googled how to suffocate someone less than 24 hours before he died, according to court records.
Jessica Ann Logan, 25, of Decatur, is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 7 death of Jayden Marshawn Comage.
Macon County Jail records show she is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. It would take a 10% bond, or $100,000, for Logan to be released.
Her bail was set on the condition that, if she is released, she can have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, according to court records.
It was not immediately clear who is caring for her older son. Photos on her page show Je’shawn turned 4 earlier this month.
Photos on a page that appears to belong to Jayden’s father, Shawneen Comage, Jr., indicate the boy’s sister is not Logan’s child. The little girl was born a month after Jayden last year.
A sworn affidavit describes the investigation that began after police officers were called to the family’s home around 3:20 a.m. Oct. 7 for a report of an unresponsive child. When the officers arrived, they found Logan sitting on the couch with Jayden’s paternal grandmother, Hope Taylor.
“Hope was holding Jayden in her arms,” the affidavit says.
Officers saw that Jayden was not breathing. Fire medics also responded to the home, where they found Jayden to be cold and rigid, as though rigor mortis was setting in, according to the affidavit.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Several things raised investigators’ suspicions at the scene, particularly Logan’s reaction to her son’s death, according to the court documents.
Logan appeared upset, but detectives said the emotion seemed forced, the affidavit says.
“Officers indicated that Jessica displayed no visible tears while she was crying,” the document alleges.
When Macon County Coroner Mike Day arrived at the home, he asked to speak to Logan privately and asked Taylor to give her grandson’s body to Logan.
“This was the first time officers observed Jessica to actually have contact with or hold Jayden,” the affidavit says.
After speaking with Logan, Day told her he would have to examine the boy’s body.
“At this time, Jessica surrendered Jayden to Day and appeared to show no emotion or concern when doing so,” the document reads.
Logan told investigators she put Jayden to bed around 8 p.m., which was his typical bedtime. She said due to several bouts of pneumonia since his birth, the boy sometimes required breathing treatments, which she would administer at midnight and 2 a.m.
She said she slept through her alarm and when she went into his bedroom around 3 a.m., she found him laying face down in his bed, his fitted sheet and comforter wrapped around his head, the affidavit says. Logan told investigators she moved Jayden, who was cold and not breathing, onto the floor and performed CPR, to no avail, the court documents allege.
She said she called Jayden’s grandmother and then 911.
Logan gave inconsistent statements about her son’s health prior to his death, the records show. She told investigators that, when the weather turned cold and her son got sick, she resumed giving him twice-nightly breathing treatments.
She said Jayden had been sick for nearly a month with a cold.
“Jessica stated that Jayden has had difficulty breathing for the last four days, which is when the breathing treatments began,” the affidavit says. “Jessica advised that Jayden seems to be fine during the day and only required the treatment at night. Officers observed there to be a nebulizer next to Jayden’s bed.”
A nebulizer is a machine that converts liquid medications, including albuterol, into a mist that a person can breathe in through a mask or mouthpiece. Albuterol is a medication used in inhalers and nebulizers to treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by ongoing lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
Doctors also sometimes prescribe breathing treatments following acute illnesses of the lungs, like bronchitis or pneumonia.
When officers asked to see Jayden’s breathing medication, however, Logan produced an empty albuterol box, saying she must have run out, the court documents show.
Detectives later contacted Jayden’s doctor, who confirmed that he’d been hospitalized for two days in December for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a common respiratory virus in children. Though usually mild, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it can turn serious.
When he was discharged, it was with a prescription for a nebulizer and albuterol, the affidavit says.
The doctor said she saw Jayden seven times between his hospital discharge and his death, prescribing more albuterol during a January follow-up visit. The medication had no refills and was to be used only as needed.
She said the medication was to be used every four to six hours and was not to be used more frequently than that, the affidavit says. On the day her son died, Logan told officers she had been giving the medication to Jayden at two-hour intervals.
Jayden’s doctor told police she last saw the boy on Sept. 9 for cold symptoms.
“(The doctor) advised that Jayden’s lungs were found to be clear during each of these visits and there were no complaints made by Jessica about Jayden having continued breathing problems,” the court documents say.
Logan had also told the detectives she called Jayden’s doctor on Oct. 4, three days before he died, for a refill of albuterol -- contradicting her previous statement that she was unaware she had run out of his medication. The doctor told police her office had no record of that call, according to the affidavit.
At Logan’s home the morning Jayden died, Day began to tell Logan about options for financial relief with funeral costs, the court documents allege. Logan told the coroner she didn’t need the help because of a life insurance policy she had on her son.
That same day, detectives were contacted by Logan’s life insurance agent, who told them Logan had already tried to collect on the policy. The agent called police because he found the timing suspicious.
Read the arrest affidavit for Jessica Logan's arrest below.
The affidavit says that Jayden’s body was sent to the McLean County Coroner’s Office for autopsy. The office’s chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Scott Denton, has not yet ruled on the cause of the boy’s death, pending further investigation, the court documents say.
Denton did find signs of asphyxia, however, noting that Jayden had “compression of the neck with florid petechial hemorrhages of the face, eyelid, neck, and internal subgaleal (between the skull and scalp) forehead, heart and thymus gland,” according to the affidavit. “Dr. Denton additionally noted that Jayden had additional findings of cerebral edema; pulmonary edema, with abundant edema foam in the airways, exuding from the mouth and nose; (and) dilated right ventricle and atria of the heart.”
He was otherwise well-developed and healthy, with no signs of blunt force trauma, fractures, pneumonia or tumors, the document reads.
Photos of Jayden taken at the scene showed no ligature marks to indicate he had been strangled by his sheets. The only marks seen on his body were “sleep marks,” or indentations in his skin made by wrinkled bedding.
Fox Illinois reported that the Department of Children and Family Services confirmed that their caseworkers had prior involvement with Jayden and his family. The department is conducting its own investigation into Jayden's death and their prior contact.
"All decisions to share details about the department's prior involvement with a family must be made with the best interest of the family and any surviving siblings in mind," a statement to the news station stated. "DCFS will not be sharing additional details about the department's prior involvement with the family at this time."
WAND-TV in Decatur reported that a timeline of the agency's involvement with Logan, Comage and their children, was expected to be made public Friday.
On Oct. 17, 10 days after Jayden died, investigators asked Logan to reenact the events of the morning she found him, using a toddler-sized mannequin to show her actions.
At that time, she contradicted herself again by saying she did not try CPR because she knew her son was dead, the affidavit says.
She also indicated she knew there was “no bringing him back” when officers asked why she had called Taylor before calling 911.
According to the affidavit, detectives investigating Jayden’s death conducted a search of Logan’s cellphone -- with incriminating results. The phone showed a Google search for the phrase “how do you suffocate” at 8:04 a.m. Oct. 6.
Less than 24 hours later, Jayden was dead.
Detectives brought Logan in for an interview Wednesday, at which time they asked about the life insurance policy she had on her son. She claimed she purchased it “as soon as possible” after Jayden was born, estimating he was 6 to 8 weeks old when she obtained it.
The insurance agent told investigators, however, that the policy was bought in December, when Jayden was 9 months old.
Later in the interview, detectives accused Logan of murdering her son.
“While Jessica denied the accusation, she displayed no emotion and appeared unaffected by the allegation,” the affidavit says. “Jessica was ultimately told that she was under arrest for the murder of her son, and again, she showed no emotion.”
People have begun criticizing Logan on Facebook since her arrest. On her last entry, which was a photo of Jayden she posted Oct. 8, the day after he died, initial commenters offered prayers and condolences.
A woman who chimed in early Friday morning changed that tone.
“U really Googled ‘how to suffocate’ then played victim,” the woman wrote.
A friend of Logan's, identified on Facebook as Chell Jones, shared the infant's obituary the day after his death, telling Logan she was praying for her.
"Praying for you, Jessica Ann (Logan's screen name), and your family," Jones wrote. "No one should ever have to endure this kind of pain."
A post Jones wrote on Thursday stated simply: "Every story has two sides."
People jumped on the post, criticizing Jones for defending her friend. Jones said all she knew of Logan and her children was “what I seen every time I was around them. They were well taking (sic) care of.”
She wrote that she felt like the whole truth had not come out yet.
“I’m not defending her nor saying she didn’t do it. I just said every story has two sides to it, because it does,” Jones wrote.
She said she would not slander someone based on news articles.
"It'll be different once she goes to court and the lawyers present the evidence," Jones wrote.
Cox Media Group