Kansas Man Arrested After Baby Son Suffocates

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BURRTON, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Kansas man has been arrested in connection to the death of his son earlier this month.

On May 30, first responders from the Harvey County Sheriff's Office, Burrton Fire/EMS and Halstead Fire/EMS responded to a home in Burrton for the report of a baby boy not breathing. Medics arrived and were able to resuscitate the child, who was taken to a Wichita hospital.

The eight-month-old boy was placed on a ventilator, but tests revealed no brain activity. The ventilator was removed on June 4 and the child died soon after. The sheriff's office identified his as Matthew Heironimus, and the cause of death was ruled suffocation.

On Thursday, Harvey County sheriff's deputies arrested the boy's father, 43-year-old Rob Heironimus on the charge of aggravated child endangerment.

According to the sheriff's office, Heironimus put the boy on a leather-type couch and asked his eight-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter to watch Matthew, then went outside to work on his motorcycle. When the children came outside, Heironimus told them to go back inside to watch the baby.

When they went back in, one of the children noticed Matthew was stuck face down between the back of the couch and the cushion, and they called for their father. He came back in, called 911 and began performing CPR on the child.

Investigators said Matthew should have been placed in the play pen that was also in the living room, and that lack of adult supervision contributed to the tragedy.

The sheriff's office also said living conditions at the home were deplorable, and that the other children were placed with grandparents. The Department of Children and Families is working with the family, and the home is being cleaned and repaired.

The sheriff's office said Heironimus has bonded out of jail. Formal charges are pending.

Posted by: Nick Viviani