UPDATE 2/26/15 at 12:50 p.m.: The Wednesday death of an Oak Hill toddler appears to have been accidental, Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said Thursday.

Kessler said Thursday that around 7 p.m., deputies were notified that a 16-month-old Beech Bottom Road child had drowned. Within 10 minutes, deputies and emergency medical service crews had arrived at the home, where the parents had been performing CPR to try to revive their child.

EMS crews continued CPR efforts and transported the baby to Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill, where medical personnel unsuccessfully attempted to revive the child for more than 30 minutes, said Kessler.

Hospital staff declared the child dead around 8 p.m. Wednesday, and the baby's body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Charleston for autopsy.

“Our preliminary investigation into this incident indicates that this death was the result of a very tragic accident,” said Sheriff Kessler. “No charges have been filed against the parents of this infant at this time.

"Until we receive additional information concerning the cause and manner of death from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and have an opportunity to review this investigation with the Office of the Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney, this will remain an open and active investigation, but we do not have any suspicion of child abuse or neglect as a contributory cause of this death at this time," he added.

Sheriff's detectives, Child Protective Services workers and agents of the medical examiner's office are all investigating, said Kessler.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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Original report posted 2/26/15 at 10:36 a.m.


The Fayette County Sheriff's Office is investigating the apparent drowning death of an infant in the Oak Hill area, according to Sheriff Steve Kessler.

In a press release, Kessler reported that just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, EMS personnel and sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of the incident in the area of Beech Bottom Road near Oak Hill. 

Immediately upon arrival at the scene, EMS personnel took over efforts to resuscitate the infant and transported the infant to Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill. Emergency physicians and nurses at Plateau Medical Center continued efforts to revive the child but those efforts were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced dead.

Investigators from the Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Child Protective Services are conducting an investigation into this incident. 

No further details are available at this time.

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