The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

March 13, 2014

Officials investigate deaths of two babies

Foul play not suspected

The cause of the deaths of two children in Fayette County was undetermined Tuesday, and investigators said they won’t have more information until the State Medical Examiner’s Office releases a report.

“All I know at this point is that we have two dead children,” Fayette County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Sizemore said Tuesday afternoon.

Tests by Oak Hill Fire Department “tentatively ruled out” carbon monoxide poisoning as a cause of death for the 3-month-old boy and his 1-year-old sister Tuesday, and the children’s bodies did not show apparent signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, abuse or neglect, according to officials.

Foul play was not suspected Tuesday afternoon, according to Sizemore.

Search warrants were issued Tuesday, and Sizemore said deputies and detectives searched the parents’ mobile home for items that could point to the cause of death and gave substances such as rat poison or food poisoning as examples.

The parents are cooperating with the investigation, he added.

“(Search warrants) are no indicator of foul play or that the parents intentionally killed the kids,” he emphasized.

Sizemore characterized the parents as “distraught” and “obviously upset” and added that they were not suspected of criminal wrongdoing Tuesday afternoon.

He added that they had not yet been ruled out as “persons of interest.”

Although drug abuse is a serious problem at the mobile home park where the family resides, Sizemore said, there was no indication Tuesday that drugs were a factor in the deaths of the two children.

“For two children to die at the same time is very, very unusual,” said Sizemore.

- - -

Sizemore said the two young victims and their 4-year-old brother lived with their mother and father in Lot No. 44 at Mountainair Mobile Home Park in Hilltop.

He declined to identify the family Tuesday.

The mother awoke around 9 a.m. and saw that her 3-month-old baby was unresponsive, according to Sizemore.

She sent her husband next door to the neighbor’s house to contact the Fayette 911 Center.

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