OGDEN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Sabrina Lubrano is keeping pictures and a tiny pair of cowboy boots close to her side as she tries to cope with the loss of her six-month-old son, Dominick.
The infant was pronounced dead at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City on Monday, March 18, 2013, several days after receiving fatal injuries at their Ogden apartment. Now, Lubrano is preparing to lay her son to rest.
Riley County police officers and emergency personnel responded Friday, March 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM to an apartment in the Parkside Apartments on Seventh Street in Ogden for a report of a six-month-old infant not breathing. The baby was taken to Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan and then airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital for treatment where he passed away three days later.
Police have arrested Lubrano’s live-in boyfriend, Michael Patrick Dechant, 19, for killing little Dominick. Dechant is charged with Murder in the 1st Degree and Child Abuse and remains confined in the Riley County Jail.
Lubrano says her son died of Shaken Baby Syndrome. That night, she ran to the store for just a few minutes. Dechant was watching her two sons at their apartment. She returned to a horrifying scene. Neighbors reported that the baby had turned blue around the mouth and was limp and having trouble breathing.
According to Lubrano, she left her children with Dechant many times before without any problems. Her family says they trusted Dechant, calling him soft-spoken, polite and helpful- leaving them shocked in the wake of Dominick's death.
“I’m lost and confused. I just don’t understand why he took Dominick away from me. I only left for six minutes. I just wanted him to wake up and he didn’t. I want him back but he’s never coming back. I miss him,” Lubrano told WIBW Wednesday.
Nancy Small, the victim’s great-grandmother, said of Dechant: “I hope he gets what he deserves because you should never shake a baby. Little Dominick was such a beautiful baby and it’s just so hard Monday night to let him go but we had to. He’s in God’s hands and he’s going to be a beautiful angel in heaven.”
"My grandson was a great little boy and I don’t understand how anybody could ever hurt him. A six month baby is the sweetest little thing and he just took his life away and hurt my daughter and it’s just a tragedy. He needs to go away. I don’t want him to ever get out… Why didn’t he just walk away? If the baby was crying, then walk away. I just don’t understand at all,” added the victim’s grandmother, Angela Adams.
Dominick's funeral will be held Thursday, March 28th at 10:30 AM at First United Methodist Church in Manhattan. A viewing will be held at the church that same morning from 9:30 AM- 10 AM. The viewing and funeral are open to the public. The child will be buried at the Ogden Cemetery.
A memorial fund has been set up through Kansas State Bank for Dominick. Donations can be made at any branch location to the Dominick James Lubrano Memorial Fund to help the family in their time of mourning. Donations can also be made to the Yorgensen Meloan Londeen Funeral Home in Manhattan.
Michael Dechant is scheduled to appear in Riley County court next week. He made his first court appearance Monday and was read his charges. He's being held on a $500,000 bond.