Apr 2, 2014 4:50 PM by Dave Fields

Lake Charles infant's death was accident, sheriff says

The Calcasieu Sheriff says the Tuesday afternoon death of a 6-month-old Lake Charles boy was most likely an accident.

"The infant was able to roll over and was wedged between the adult mattress and the wall," explained Calcasieu Coroner Terry Welke.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said they the caretakers of the boy at a home on Sundale Drive were "negligent," but the sheriff said his office is still trying to determine if they were "criminally negligent" or simply guilty of "poor caretaking." Mancuso said the investigation remains ongoing.

"I can't say with absolute certainty that this is anything but an accident," said the sheriff.

The sheriff said that recently there have been a number of infant deaths in Calcasieu Parish and that the department "is tired of going on these calls."

"A majority of these deaths can be prevented," Mancuso said. "These children don't have a voice."

Welke indicated that it is a common problem that caretakers assume, based on the personal experiences of others who have allowed their children to sleep with them, that it's okay to allow infants to sleep in an adult bed. The coroner recommended that infants be properly placed for sleeping in the clutter-free environment of a crib or a bassinet.

"Infants don't need a lot of bedding," Welke said. Welke said that infants, in some cases, would be better off sleeping on the floor in lieu of an adult bed.



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