Mother held after newborn dies

Autopsy reportedly shows 18-day-old baby girl suffered head trauma

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 7, 2013


WARREN — A 25-year-old mother remained in custody on a traffic warrant and an alleged drug offense Oct. 7 as police and prosecutors met to discuss possible charges in her 18-day-old daughter’s death from head injuries.

Deputy Commissioner Louis Galasso of the Warren Police Department said the woman, whose name was not released pending her arraignment, was arrested outside of her home on Orchard east of Van Dyke and south of Toepfer in the afternoon on Oct. 4.

Galasso said officers went to the home after Detroit police informed detectives that the baby died at St. John Hospital on Moross in Detroit that morning. The baby was initially transported to the St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital at 12 Mile Road and Hoover after Warren Fire Department paramedics responded to a 911 call about a baby vomiting at the home at 1 p.m. Oct. 3.

“When the Fire Department arrived they discovered the child to be in severe distress, not breathing and without a pulse,” Galasso said. “CPR was given, along with other lifesaving techniques, while the infant was transported to St. John Macomb at 12 Mile.”

Galasso said paramedics were successfully able revive the baby and that hospital staff in Warren cared for the child for about two hours before the decision was made to transfer her to the Detroit facility for further treatment. That’s where the child reportedly died at about 7 a.m. Oct. 4 and from where the baby’s mother allegedly fled before Detroit police arrived to speak with her.

Galasso said it took about five hours for Detroit police to contact investigators in Warren but that patrol officers successfully located the woman after they responded to the address on Orchard and saw her drive by the home. She was reportedly stopped, identified and found to be in the possession of a small amount of marijuana. She also reportedly had two outstanding warrants for driving on a suspended license and was taken into custody.

Detectives interviewed the woman at Warren’s Christopher M. Wouters Police Headquarters on Oct. 4 and again on Oct. 5. During both interviews, she allegedly said she had no knowledge about what caused the baby’s injuries. 

Galasso said Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz performed an autopsy Oct. 6 and concluded that the child suffered from blunt force head trauma.

“Detectives engaged in a interview with the mother, who denied doing any harm to the child and could not provide any reason why the infant would have sustained the skull trauma,” Galasso said. “She offered no reason such as the child had fallen or was dropped or anything to that nature, and she denied that anybody else had custody of the child, and said that the infant was in her care throughout the entire day.

“Based on her statement that she was the only person that had custody of the child and cared for the child, and based on her own statements that the child never had fallen, knowing that the MRI and X-rays showed skull fractures, we thought we had probable cause to book her for the child’s death,” Galasso said.

Macomb County prosecutors were scheduled to meet with Warren detectives Oct. 7 to determine what charges the mother could face.

The woman’s two other children, ages 4 and 7, were placed in the care of their maternal grandmother.

The infant girl’s father has not been located and police did not believe he was involved in caring for the baby when the injuries occurred.