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Police await autopsy in infant death investigation

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Aug 20 2013 09:47:10 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

Police in Johnson City are looking into the death of a 16-month-old baby boy.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

Police in Johnson City are looking into the death of a 16-month-old baby boy.

We're told emergency crews were called to an apartment complex Monday afternoon; now, investigators are waiting for answers.

Just before 1:00 Monday afternoon, emergency crews answered a call about an unresponsive baby at Knob Creek Arms Apartments on Knob Creek Road. The baby was taken to the Johnson City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are now investigating according to Lt. Steve Sherfey with JCPD. "[We're] taking statements, talking to some people, but it's going to depend on what we find from the autopsy results as far as cause of death," he explained.

Angelia Sliger, the manager of the apartment complex, tells us the child was at home Monday afternoon with his mother's fiancé. "They're engaged. They just got engaged. She said they've been friends since sixth grade, and then started dating," she said. "He moved in there with her to help her with the boys. He had been watching the baby during the day while she's at work."

Sliger tells us the baby's mother was at work when emergency crews were called to the apartment. "She stated that her boyfriend had stated they had been out walking and they had laid the baby down for a nap. When he went back to check on [the child], he was laying face down and not breathing," she said.

Investigators won't say if the boy had any injuries or even if the death is suspicious. "With infants it's hard to tell lots of times what's going on," Lt. Sherfey said. "That's why we wait until we have an autopsy before we really start digging into it."

Neighbors say they're working to cope with the loss of a little boy. "Our heart really breaks for her," Sliger said. "She's a hard worker and she tries to take care of her boys and to give them a home. It' s a terrible thing to know this has happened to someone like that, to anyone with a small child."

The boy's body has been sent to the Quillen College of Medicine for an autopsy.

The landlord tells us the woman's other son, a school-aged child, is staying with grandparents.