The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

May 5, 2014

Police probe infant’s death

BLUEFIELD — The death of a 2-month-old male infant, whose mother is currently on probation related to the beating of another infant in 2011, is being investigated by the Bluefield Police Department.

Investigators are currently awaiting a toxicology report from the State Medical Examiner’s Office, Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department said Friday.

The case began in the early morning hours of April 5 when Bluefield Regional Medical Center informed the department that an infant was deceased on arrival.

“In the early morning hours of April 5, 2014 we received a call from Bluefield Regional Medical Center that they had an infant that was picked up that was deceased upon arrival,” Adams said. “The medical examiner was there along with the parents. The parents stated that the infant had awoken the father with gasping for breath, having trouble breathing, and upon the arrival of the EMS, it had stopped breathing. By the time it had reached the hospital, it had passed away.”

Bluefield Police began an investigation. Police are currently waiting for the state medical examiner’s report, Adams said. The medical examiner is waiting for the results of toxicology tests before completing the report.

The deceased infant’s mother had another baby that was severely beaten in McDowell County two years ago, Adams said. The baby had a fractured skull, fractured legs, a fractured collarbone, and multiple bruises from where it had been beaten previously.

“The mother of this child had another infant approximately two years ago that had multiple fractures and had been beaten, and it was 6-weeks-old, and it was taken to (Welch Community Hospital). In that case, the mother and the father were both charged with child abuse with serious injury,” Adams said.

The father of that baby is currently imprisoned at the Salem (Correctional Facility) in Clarksburg, Adams said.

“The mother was placed on two years unsupervised probation,” he added. “She’s still on probation over the first baby.”

Adams said the infant in the McDowell County incident survived and was placed in permanent foster care. A 4-year-old child was also removed from her care.

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