SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — The parents of a 4-month-old boy have been charged with murder in their son’s suffocation death.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced Tuesday that 42-year-old William Herring and 22-year-old Brianna Brochhausen were charged in the suffocation death of their infant son, Hunter. They were taken into custody on Monday.
Officials say Hunter was suffocated at the Hilltop Motel in Springfield Township on Feb. 14, where the family was living at the time.
The prosecutor’s office says an investigation revealed that Herring and Brochhausen were frustrated because their 4-month-old son would not stop crying and placed him in “time out.” Authorities say Hunter was positioned on his stomach on the bed with the comforter pulled over him, covering his head and entire body.
Police say the parents then went outside to smoke cigarettes, and when they returned to their room 10 minutes later, they discovered Hunter was not breathing.
Hunter was initially taken to Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly and then immediately transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He died on March 3 after being removed from life support.
“The responsibilities of becoming a new parent can sometimes be overwhelming,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said. “Those who find themselves at a point of crisis when caring for a newborn child should know that help is available, and they must seek that help rather than taking actions that might harm their child.”
Herring and Brochhausen were each charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
A detention hearing will be held later this week.