Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In Pennsylvania, Autopsy results on baby pending | Shaken Baby Syndrome

An autopsy on a 2-month-old baby from New Brighton was reportedly completed Friday, but the cause and manner of death are still pending, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said Saturday.

Melanie O. Alexander was reportedly declared brain dead Thursday and was later taken off life support. A medical examiner’s office employee could not say why the results of the autopsy were pending.

Her father, Robert M. Heibert, 28, of 1922 Fifth Ave., Suite 7, New Brighton, reportedly told New Brighton Area police that he found his daughter on a couch with blue lips then spent 15 to 30 minutes researching the Internet on how to perform CPR before calling Jessica Alexander, his girlfriend and the baby’s mother, and asking her to come home.

After doctors at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh reportedly determined Melanie suffered from shaken baby syndrome, Heibert told   police that he had shaken her four times because she would not stop crying, once on July 19, twice on July 21 and once  more Monday.

Police said Heibert reportedly called 911 only after Alexander called him back and told him to call for help. Police said Heibert told them he went online for CPR information Tuesday because he did not want Alexander to get mad at him.

Before his daughter died, Heibert was reportedly charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of children and four counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. After Melanie was declared brain dead, Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said Heibert also would be charged with homicide.

According to online court records, though, that charge had reportedly yet to be filed as of Saturday evening. Online jail records showed that Heibert was still being held Saturday in the Beaver County Jail after failing to post $50,000 bond on the original charges.

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If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at http://www.keanelaw.com

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