FROM NEWS & WIRE REPORTS
October 25, 2012
According to reports by television stations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and the Associated Press, a Boone County woman is facing criminal charges for allegedly trying to smother her 4-month-old son at a hospital in Pennsylvania.
WSAZ, WPXI and the AP are reporting that an arrest warrant was issued yesterday for Rachel Nelson after she was accused of attempting to smother her son after he was admitted to a Pittsburgh, Pa., childrens hospital.
Nelson, 22, of Costa, was charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.
According to reports, investigators said the 4-month-old boy was transferred to the hospital Oct. 18, 2012, after repeated episodes of breathing issues and "concerns of medical child abuse."
The criminal complaint that states the baby was also having repeated episodes of apnea and hypnoxia, WPXI reported.
The next day, the child's father alerted nurses that his son was not breathing and he performed rescue breaths until nurses got in the room, according to the complaint.
Investigators added that the child's father was asleep when the child became unresponsive. The child was resuscitated and transferred to ICU.
The report went on to say that the boy was again found to be limp with abnormal breathing in the intensive care unit on Oct. 20. The reporter at WPXI reports from the complaint that the child received 30 minutes of oxygen before he was breathing normally again.
After doctors reviewed surveillance footage investigators say Nelson admitted holding the boy to her chest until he stopped breathing.
Nelson was taken to a psychiatric facility for evaluation, and court records don't list an attorney for her, the station reported.
The child was placed in the custody of Children and Youth Services, police said, and all family visits have been canceled, according to the report.
The Boone County Sheriff's Department is also investigating this case.
The television station also reported that during a news conference this morning, Pittsburgh Police released additional information about the case.
According to Pittsburgh Police, investigators are looking into 15 possible suffocating instances where six times the baby was brought to a Charleston hospital.
Police say Nelson would compress and suffocate the child to near death and then resuscitate.
Nelson is still in the hospital, as soon as she is released police say she will be arrested.
So far Nelson has not been charged in West Virginia.
Boone County Sheriff Rodney Miller told WSAZ.com deputies are in the process of subpoenaing the hospital records.
No other information is being released at this time, the station reported.