Possible child abuse suspected in infant's death - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Possible child abuse suspected in infant's death

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Fort Pierce police say possible child abuse may have led to the death of a 5-month-old baby Tuesday.

The baby lived in a home in the 400 block of North 15th St. in Fort Pierce, according to police.

Fort Pierce police say family members of the child told detectives they found the baby unconscious and unresponsive in his crib Sunday.

Family brought him to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center Sunday night.

Shortly after, police say hospital staff contacted police because of the child’s condition.

He was eventually transferred to St. Mary’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead Tuesday.

“It’s not normal that a child dies in a crib for no reason. Sometimes that does happen in fact, but you don’t know until you do a complete investigation,” said Ed Cunningham, spokesman for the Fort Pierce Police Department.

Police still do not know exactly what caused the baby to lose consciousness, and might not be able to confirm that until a medical examiner completes their own investigation.

“Who exactly found him? What the circumstances were when they found him? That’s some of the information we will be trying to determine,” Cunningham said.

Neighbors along North 15th street say they saw an unusual scene at the baby’s home Sunday.

“I heard a bunch of yelling, and then I saw one cop there for about an hour and then after awhile I guess they called for backup,” said neighbor Sonia Williams.

She has three kids of her own and a baby on the way.

“I could never imagine having to deal with the loss of my child,” said Williams.

The Department of Children and Families is involved in the investigation. A spokeswoman for DCF says they are familiar with the child’s family.

DCF Communications Director, Jessica Sims, said in a statement:

"We are devastated by the death of this baby and grieve with all those who love him. The department has opened an investigation to examine the circumstances that led to this tragic loss. As the family is familiar to the child welfare system, a thorough quality assurance review will be conducted to review all prior interaction. We will also continue to coordinate with law enforcement and assist in any way possible."

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