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Greene Co. DA: Child abuse led to infant’s death

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Sep 28 2012 05:01:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 28 2012 01:50:39 PM CDT

We're learning the facts on an investigation into the death of a Greene County infant. The district attorney told News 5 child abuse is to blame.

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. -

We're learning the facts on an investigation into the death of a Greene County infant. The district attorney told News 5 child abuse is to blame.

We spoke with Third Judicial District Attorney Berkeley Bell, and he told News 5 the infant was an eight-month-old female.

Bell said he's not releasing the name right now, but he tells us the baby died last week, and someone is to blame.

Greene County police records show EMS responded to a house on Fairview Road in Greene County last Monday evening in response to an eight-month-old baby who wasn't breathing. The report stated 'suspicious circumstances' were involved.

"Most definitely, child abuse is involved in the case," said Bell.

According to a report News 5 pulled from the Greene County Sheriff's Office, the baby was taken to the Laughlin Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. The report stated the baby was bruised and had what appeared to be a bite mark on one of her arms.

Bell told us the baby went on life support at Johnson City Medical Center with various injuries. "Head injuries, eye injuries, and things of that nature,” said Bell.

He also said the baby was being kept alive at that point for the purpose of organ donation.

Bell also told us the baby died from brain injuries that he said were a direct result of child abuse. "It's very heartbreaking and horrific really. Unfortunately, we're quite experienced at investigating these types of cases," said Bell.

Now the district attorney is awaiting autopsy results that will help build a timeline of the injuries to help crack this case. "That helps to narrow the scope of potential suspects, and we go from there," Bell explained.

Bell told us there are suspects in this case, but no charges have been filed as of Friday. He also said the results of the autopsy could take several weeks.