Prosecutors won't file criminal charges in the death of an infant who autopsy reports determined died from Hyperthermia on Monday.
Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney, Dwight K. Scroggins, Jr., said that a preliminary autopsy report has determined the infant died from Hyperthermia, an extremely elevated body temperature. The autopsy determined there was no indication of any direct physical trauma.
The St. Joseph Police Department investigation revealed the child was sleeping in a portable playpen at a home near North 18th and Faraon streets for the night. When a power outage occurred, the child, in the portable playpen, was moved to a bedroom and an additional blanket was used to cover the child and a comforter was placed over three sides of the playpen to retain heat. The playpen was placed close to a heating vent.
When power was restored, approximately two hours later, the home's furnace again began operating. Approximately six hours later when adults checked on the infant, the child was unresponsive and resuscitation efforts by first the adult caregivers and later emergency personnel were unsuccessful.
Based on review of all reports submitted, investigators determined no crime was committed and the infant's death was ruled accidental.
"The case is a tragic example of well-intended, but unknowingly dangerous steps to protect the child being taken, which resulted in the unforeseeable accidental death of the infant," Scroggins said.
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