TROY, N.Y. - The Troy Police Department announced Tuesday afternoon that 29-year-old Robert Hayden, of Troy, has been arrested and charged for the death of 21-month-old Avery Cahn six-and-a-half weeks after his death.
Hayden was arraigned in Troy City Court Tuesday afternoon and charged with Manslaughter 2nd-degree, a felony, in relation to Avery's death. He was remanded to jail with bail set at $30,000.
Avery was found dead the night of Saturday, January 7th at the Griswold Heights Apartment complex. Avery's mother left her child with Hayden earlier in the day. When Avery's mother, Shannon Pozniakas, returned home she discovered the child dead and the Hayden not present. Hayden was found by police walking nearby a short time later.
Troy Police Captain John Cooney says they now believe Hayden suffocated Avery when frustrated by his crying and left him dead, or dying, in the apartment for several hours.
For awhile, it appeared that the death of Avery may remain a mystery, the autopsy inconclusive, but Cooney says recent interviews with Hayden and witnesses changed the course of the case. Cooney said information obtained was then turned over to the medical examiner, whose findings lined up with the information discovered.
Hayden was registered as a Level 1 Sex Offender last Friday, for the April 2010 sex abuse of an 11-year-old girl. When leaving court, NEWS10 asked him what happened to Avery and why he left him alone. He had no answer and simply walked inside.
Pozniakas says Hayden never told her about his conviction on the sex crime. And had she known about it she would never have let him watch her child.
Police say Hayden had babysat the child in the past. They say there was no indication of any kind of sexual nature in the case of Avery's death.