Monday, 17 January 2011

SBS: Louisiana: Ashley Rene Reifer charged in baby’s death


Baker police, including Lt. Glenn Daniel, background, lead Baker resident Ashley René Reifer, 22, to a patrol car Friday for booking at Parish Prison in the Oct. 28 death of a 2-month-old boy at the day care center where Reifer worked. Police Chief Mike Knaps said an autopsy revealed that the infant died of shaken baby syndrome.
James Minton/The Advocate BAKER — Police arrested a former day-care worker Friday in the Oct. 28 death of a 2-month-old baby in her care, Police Chief Mike Knaps said.
Knaps said an autopsy revealed that infant Brody Vance Hopper died as a result of traumatic brain injury, also referred to as “shaken baby syndrome.”
Detectives booked Ashley René Reifer, 22, 958 Florida St., Baker, into Parish Prison on Friday night on one count each of second-degree murder and cruelty to a juvenile.
The baby was born Aug. 25.
Lt. James Broussard said detectives received autopsy results in the case on Monday.
The investigation revealed that the infant was in the sole care of Reifer on Oct. 28, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., when the boy’s father arrived to pick him up from Baker’s Busy Bee Learning Center, 3615 Groom Road, Broussard said.
Knaps said police were dispatched to the day-care center after the father took his son in an infant carrier to his vehicle and noticed that the boy was non-responsive.
Officers found no signs of trauma on the child’s body, Knaps said, but the child was taken to Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary, where he was pronounced dead.
During the investigation, detectives interviewed everyone who was working in the facility, but Reifer, on the advice of her attorney, declined to be interviewed a second time earlier this week, Knaps said.
A baby has weak neck muscles and a large, heavy head, and shaking makes the brain bounce back and forth inside the skull, according to a National Institutes of Health website.
The brain’s movement inside the skull causes bruising, swelling and bleeding, but the injuries may not be immediately noticeable, the NIH fact sheet says.
Broussard said the child’s  parents were notified of the impending arrest Friday afternoon.

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