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Montco Woman Charged In Decades-Old Death Of Infant She Was Babysitting

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Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – Authorities in Montgomery County have charged a 38-year-old Bridgeport, Pa. woman with murder in connection with the death of a five-month-old infant she was babysitting nearly two decades ago in Upper Merion Township.

Prosecutors say Melissa Haskell was just 19-years-old when she was babysitting Ryan Baurley in August of 1992. She reportedly found him unresponsive in his crib and the death, despite a lot of uncertainty, was ruled SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by the coroner.

But prosecutors say police received new information recently from a person who told them that Haskell admitted suffocating the child.

“Unfortunately, the parents of the child did not know the demons that she was dealing with,” said Montgomery County DA Risa Ferman. “She was having significant trouble with a heroin addiction, and our understanding is it was the byproduct of that addiction that caused her to become increasingly frustrated with the child.”

Ferman says that when police used electronic surveillance, they overheard Haskell admitting she put her hand over the child’s mouth. Ferman says the child also had alcohol in his system, contributing to his death.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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