The Marin County District Attorney’s Office decided today not to file charges against a woman who was arrested for the smothering death of her infant daughter nearly a year ago.

Melissa Marie Lambert, 23, was arrested by San Rafael police in Fort Bragg on Nov. 10 on suspicion of child abuse and involuntary manslaughter of her nine-week-old daughter on Dec. 3.

Lambert was breastfeeding the infant while in bed at a San Rafael homeless shelter when she fell asleep and rolled over onto the infant, smothering her to death, San Rafael police Cpl. Lisa Holton said.

A toxicology report after an autopsy showed the baby had methamphetamine in her system, Holton said.

Lambert admitted she injected heroin less than 24 hours before the baby’s death, Holton said.

Marin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry Borden said this afternoon that there was not sufficient evidence to prove Lambert guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The decision was reached around noon, and Lambert was scheduled to be released from the Marin County jail today, Borden said.

Lambert waived her right to be arraigned on the charges within three days of her arrest to allow the prosecution time to review the case, Borden said.

The district attorney’s office reviewed police, autopsy, medical, and toxicology reports while reaching a decision, Borden said.

The district attorney’s office could file charges against Lambert should new reports or evidence arise, he said.

Lambert left the San Rafael area in January but contacted San Rafael police recently to talk about the incident, San Rafael police communications supervisor Charly Taylor said.

San Rafael police did a follow-up interview with Lambert and arrested her on Nov. 10 at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Holton said.

Lambert was being held on $50,000 bail.

James Lanaras, Bay City News

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