After two East St. Louis parents took their 3-month-old daughter to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital with head injuries, East St. Louis police were called in to investigate.
East St. Louis Juvenile Detective Sgt. Gilda Johnson said the parents took the the baby girl to the hospital at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. A doctor there determined the child had skull fractures and her femur was cracked. The unidentified mother is 27, and the father of the child is 41.
Johnson said she interviewed both parents and both said they don’t have any idea how the baby sustained the injuries. What they told police happened is not consistent with the injuries the child sustained, Johnson said.
She said while the police investigation is underway, the 3-month-old and an older sibling are in the custody of relatives. The mother and father live in the Roosevelt Homes. Along with East St. Louis, the Child Death Investigative Task Force and the DCFS are investigating. Johnson said the death investigation team is called in a nonfatal case like this, when there is a possibility that it could be shaken baby syndrome.
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said the Death Task Force can be called in even if the child is not deceased when there are serious injuries to the child.
Meanwhile, there are no new developments in the deaths of a 5-month-old baby boy and a 3-year-old boy. Both were Washington Park residents. The Death Task Force is investigating their deaths. The 5-month-old’s mother brought him to the police station. He was not responsive. Police there performed CPR on him, and rushed him to the hospital via ambulance where he was pronounced dead. He lived in the 1700 block of North 60th Street. The 3-year-old fell down some stairs at his home at 5500 Caseyville Ave. while his mother was at work. The male child was left in the care of a friend. No word as to whether the friend faces any charges in the case
Washington Park investigators along with eight agents from the Illinois State Police and the St. Clair County Child Death Investigation team were in the village Saturday and again on Tuesday investigating the deaths of the two children.
The center of their focus Tuesday was a 3-year-old boy, who Washington Park Police Chief Tony Tomlinson said was found near the bottom of the stairs in his Washington Park residence in the 5500 block of Caseyville Avenue.
“We received a call from MedStar Ambulance at 12:05 p.m. They had received a 911 call reporting a child had fallen down the steps at his residence. The ambulance workers were concerned about how long the child had been dead,” Tomlinson said. “The coroner was called, because the ambulance workers needed to be sure about some things.”
Kelly confirmed the St. Clair County Child Death Investigation team was investigating the boy’s death. The members of the team arrived in Washington Park at 1:30 p.m.
Tomlinson said the boy’s mother was not at home when he fell. She was at work up the street from her residence. Once she got the call and was told she needed to go home, Tomlinson said she ran home. The boy had been left in the care of a female friend of the mother.
The caregiver told police she heard a noise, and when she went to check it out, she saw the boy lying half way at the bottom of the steps, Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said the woman said “his body was shaking.”
“She picked him up and while on the phone with an ambulance crew, they were instructing her on what to do,” he said.
On Saturday, a mother brought her 5-month-old son who was not breathing to the Washington Park Police Department.
“My officers went to the lobby and immediately started performing CPR on the child,” Tomlinson said. A MedStar ambulance crew arrived 10 minutes later and took the child.
The St. Clair County Child Death Investigation team arrived around 2 p.m. The baby’s residence was reported to be in the 1700 block of North 60th Street
The mother told police that some people in her home were sick, and the baby appeared to be a little sick and then stopped breathing.
Tomlinson said it is routine for police to call in the St. Clair County Child Death Investigation team any time children are involved.
He said investigators didn’t have enough information yet to say whether either death is suspicious.
Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503