An Oak Hill man was arrested Wednesday on a murder charge in connection with the death of his son six months ago, authorities said.

Henry Clay Jenkins, 35, was charged with murder of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said. Jenkins was being held at Southern Regional Jail pending a bond hearing in circuit court.

Jenkins’ son, Christian Clay Jenkins, a 14-year-old cystic fibrosis patient, died last November.

According to Kessler, the Fayette 911 Center received a call on Nov. 14 that the teen was suffering from shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. An ambulance responded to the scene at Mountaineer Mobile Home Park in Hilltop and transported the patient to Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill.

The teen was transferred to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he remained on life support until Nov. 19, when life support measures were terminated and he was pronounced dead.

As is standard procedure in any injury of this type to a child, Kessler said, the Child Protective Services division of the state Department of Health and Human Resources was notified and subsequently contacted the Fayette sheriff’s office for assistance in conducting an investigation into the incident. The investigation was then assigned to the sheriff’s Detective Bureau.

An autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner on Nov. 20 indicated that the use of illicit drugs was a contributing factor in the teen’s death, Kessler said. It was also determined through the investigation that prompt medical attention had not been sought for the boy following the initial discovery of his respiratory distress.

Following a months-long investigation, an arrest warrant was obtained for the father. Sheriff’s detectives took Henry Jenkins into custody without incident Wednesday in the Oak Hill area, Kessler said.

“This arrest was the result of a joint investigation involving the Child Protective Services division of DHHR, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Fayette County sheriff’s office,” Kessler said. “This case is an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation.”

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 304-574-4216.

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