AMSTERDAM, N.Y. - An Amsterdam man has been arrested in Louisiana in connection with the death of his infant daughter.
Franklin Finney, 23, was arrested and charged with manslaughter three weeks after the girl's mother found the baby unresponsive in her crib.Investigators found no signs of trauma on the girl, but police say Finney allegedly put his hand over her mouth, which caused her to stop breathing.
Officials say that on April 19, medical personnel, along with Walker Police, responded to a call for assistance at a residence on Ball Park Road in Walker related to an unresponsive 4 week old infant. When resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, the child was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where she was admitted in critical condition and placed on life support.
Medical records indicate that the baby was closely examined, and tests were performed in order to identify any previously undiagnosed medical conditions or any signs of trauma or abuse which might have caused respiratory failure. Despite those efforts, no signs of trauma or indicators to suggest wrong doing were found, nor were any medical conditions discovered which could explain the baby’s respiratory failure. Because of the unusual circumstances, the Office of Child Services was notified of the child’s admittance to the hospital. OCS caseworkers interviewed both the mother and Finney concerning the child’s condition.
On May 10, Walker Police were contacted by hospital officials and the Office of Child Services after the child’s mother and another family member expressed concern to medical personnel that Finney may have caused the child’s condition.
“As time passed without identification of the cause of the baby’s condition, and as it became apparent that she was unlikely to survive, consideration of previous events caused the infant’s mother and other family members to question whether Mr. Finney might be responsible for the child’s respiratory failure,” said Captain John Sharp, Walker Police Public Information Officer. “According to information we were provided, Mr. Finney was seen on a previous occasion placing his hand over the baby’s mouth when she was crying.”
Over a period of three weeks, during which the infant displayed a lack of brain activity, her condition worsened. Consequently, the decision to discontinue life support was made, and on Tuesday, May 13, the infant passed away.
Finney told Detectives that while attempting to put the baby down for a nap, he became frustrated at his inability to console the crying child. He then admitted to placing his hand over the baby’s mouth to stop her from crying, stating that he did not realize the child was no longer breathing until the mother entered the room and saw that the baby was unresponsive.
Finney has been living in Walker, Louisiana in 2012. He remains in custody with bond set at $75,000.
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