It’s a heartbreaking story out of northern California.
Police say they’ve arrested a drug user found unconscious next to his dead baby.
He’s 29-year-old Patrick Oneill. They responded to his home in Santa Rosa, California (which is about 60 miles north of San Francisco) around 12:50 p.m. Saturday.
They said they found him unconscious on the floor of a bedroom. Next to him was his 13-month-old baby, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers said they found “signs of recent drug use next to where the child was discovered”, but didn’t see any signs of “physical violence”.
It’s yet to be determined if the drugs played a role in the death of the baby.
They rushed Oneill to the hospital with “life-threatening injuries”. Assuming he survives, he’ll be booked into the Sonoma County Jail on a charge of suspicion of murder when he gets out.
“We still have some more investigating to do,” Santa Rosa Lt. Dan Marincik said.
But they vow to find out what happened.
“We saw no signs of physical injury, and there was narcotic paraphernalia in the room. We believe that the 29-year-old put the child in a situation that ultimately caused his death.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Santa Rosa Department’s Violent Crimes Investigation Team at (707) 543-3590.
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Earlier this month in Dothan, Alabama, a man who was awaiting trial in connection with the death of his 6-month-old son after police discovered the deceased infant in a freezer last summer was found dead in his prison cell, officials confirmed.
Prison officials from the Houston County Jail said that Carlton James Mathis, 30, was found unresponsive in his cell.
Emergency crews reportedly performed CPR and used a defibrillator to try and revive Mathis, but were unsuccessful.
A report from Fox News noted that Mathis had been facing murder charges after his 6-month-old son, Curtis James Oakes, had allegedly ingested methamphetamine, which led to his death.
Investigators say that once he had discovered the child was no longer breathing, instead of contacting emergency crews to try and save his son’s life, he and the mother allegedly did nothing. Dothan police said the couple had decided to take action once the smell inside the hotel room became overwhelming.
Unable to stand the smell any longer, Mathis took action. According to reports, Mathis allegedly wrapped the child’s body in a towel, placed him inside of a garbage bag and then stuffed him into a freezer inside a Dothan hotel room.
99-year sentence for mom whose baby was found in freezer https://t.co/qgYBbWMJQI
— WSFA 12 News (@wsfa12news) August 28, 2019
The child’s mother had just been found guilty during her trial this week. Court documents showed that Amanda Gail Oakes, 36, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and corpse abuse for her role in the infant’s death. She has been sentenced to 99 years behind bars.
“We agreed that we would allow them to run concurrent if she pled guilty to all of them at this point. And a 99-year sentence is the maximum that would be available and we think that would be appropriate for these cases,” said Pat Jones, Houston County District Attorney. “We’re pleased with the outcomes.”
Mathis’s trial had been scheduled for November of this year. Oakes had agreed to testify against Mathis during his trial.
After the child’s deceased body had originally been discovered last year, police began searching for Mathis. After a manhunt that lasted overnight, the 30-year-old suspect was found and surrounded. A SWAT team was called in to try and get Mathis to surrender. He was reportedly shot by a SWAT operator during the standoff Bronson, Florida, police said. He was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries before being placed into a jail facility.
Oakes’ daughter, who testified against her during her trial, was reportedly also injured during the tense standoff in Florida.
“There was a big shoot out and I believe – if I’m not mistaken – the she received shrapnel in her leg,” said Jones. “It’s a miracle she didn’t die in this whole crazy escapade.”
Mathis and Oakes were originally charged with murder, but that charge was later dismissed. The charges then changed to manslaughter as well as corpse abuse.
While there has been no confirmed cause of death, Mathis’s body is being transported to Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy. Officials did not confirm or deny if they expected foul play to be involved.
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